Christ’s first coming to earth was predicated on something that happened long ago. Naturally, our minds race to the Garden of Eden, when it all began to fall apart; but it reaches back even further than that. It reaches back before time began.
An Outside-of-Time Promise
Titus 1:2 states we have the “hope of eternal life, which God, Who never lies, promised before the ages began.” Listen that, “God . . . promised . . . eternal life . . . before the ages began.” He promised it before time; before Adam & Eve; before earth was created. To Whom did He make that glorious promise? The only ones existing in eternity past were God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and the angels. It appears He made that promise to God the Son, since Jesus Himself states in John 6:40: “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone Who looks upon the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” So God made an eternal promise before time began.
An Inside-of-Time Promise
Once time began, in the Garden of Eden, things went terribly wrong. You know the story: The ancient serpent deceived Adam & Eve into rebelling against God and welcoming him—that serpent-head—into their own heart’s throne. Along with that willful act of rebellion came a sin-curse; a curse which produced not eternal life, but eternal death; and not to them alone, but to all that followed them. That wicked serpent-head was passed-down from Adam and Eve to their children, as it is written, “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Gen 5:3). Yes, the serpent-head raged-on in Adam’s children, and things seemed dire. To the naked eye, God’s outside-of-time promise seemed in jeopardy. But, wait! Along with that terrible sin-curse in the Garden we hear another beautiful promise from God: Eve would produce a Promised Offspring, One Who would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15)—a fatal strike!
And Adam lived 930 years and never saw that Promised Offspring. His son, Seth, lived 912 years and never saw that Promised Offspring. Generations came and went, never seeing the Promised Offspring. Oh, it wasn’t without God’s confirmations along the way. He confirmed to Noah, Abraham, and King David the Promised Offspring would flow through their family. Yet, each of them lived and died and never saw Him come . . . and then He came: Just that quick!
The Heavenly Cascade
Luke 2:7: And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. One verse spoken finds two promises unbroken: (1) the Promised Offspring revealed and (2) the promise of eternal life restored. The fulfillment of both promises cascaded down from heaven like a waterfall of grace that holy night.
The angels, themselves caught-up in the heavenly cascade, recognized the enormity of the moment. They appear, crowning Him with three glorious titles in succession (Lk 2:11). He is “Savior:” the rescuer of God’s people from the reign of the serpent-head in their heart! He is “Christ:” the Anointed One conceived of a virgin so as not to inherit the sin-curse! He is “Lord:” the King born to rule and reign in the hearts of men forever!
Those angels knew full-well what had happened that night, which is why we sing, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:”
Come, Desire of Nations, come, (Jesus)
Fix in us Thy Heavenly Home; (eternal life)
Rise the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, (Promised Offspring)
Bruise in us the serpent’s head (the curse broken)
And that is why we sing, “Joy to the World:” Joy that the Promised Offspring came and destroyed that serpent-head—“far as the curse is found:” . . .
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!
Far as the curse is found!
Far as, far as, the curse is found!
That sin-curse was found in me, till He came and set me free!
May this Christmas find you merry in blessings of grace.