The first glimpse of Christmas comes in the third chapter of your Bible just after Adam and Eve sinned against God. With the juices of the forbidden fruit still running down their cheeks, God made a promise to our first parents in Genesis 3:15:
I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
From the moment sin entered into the world, God promised He would send a deliverer to crush the head of the serpent. Christmas, then, isn’t primarily about the warm, cozy feeling we get when we sing “Silent Night.” Christmas is about cosmic warfare, when Jesus came to battle the Serpent of Old, for your sin and for my sin. This is why Joseph was told to name his son Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
Isaac Watts, reflecting on the role of Christmas in rewinding the curse in his carol “Joy to the World,” wrote,
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
The curse of sin affected everything. But as far as the curse goes, God’s grace and blessings go farther. Christmas reminds us that God has already forgiven the sins of those who turn to him in repentance and faith, and that he isn’t done yet. Satan’s head may have been crushed when Jesus rose from the dead, but this Christmas we still await the final crushing of the Devil. The Apostle Paul looked to this day and encouraged the church at Rome with these words: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (Rom 16:20). Christmas reminds us of the promise God made to Adam and Eve that He would redeem us from Satan and the curse.
This Christmas rejoice that God has sent His Son to cancel the curse for those who place their trust in Him, and rest in knowing that He will come again to finish the job!
About Brian Arnold
Dr. Brian Arnold serves as the fourth President of Phoenix Seminary. In this role he combines a love for the local church with a passion for serious, academic theology. He is convinced that seminaries are servants of the church, uniquely positioned to train men and women for mature, biblically-grounded ministry in a rapidly changing world.