The Promise to Man

by on August 28th, 2010
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Adam and Eve had only one commandment; don’t eat of the tree of Good and Evil. They couldn’t keep it, and not only were they evicted from the garden, there was a barrier between them and God.

God gave them a promise before they were sent away. He told Eve that the she would crush the head of the serpent (i.e. Satan) and he would bruise her heel. It wasn’t much to go on, but after the serpent’s actions, it was a Promise. It was the beginning of the fulfillment.

Down through history prior to the New Testament, there were many more Promises. One would come who would sit on David’s throne and rule over the world forever. He would be God with Us, He would be Savior. He would be born of a virgin in the tiny town of Bethlehem.

These Promises were, at the time, probably as difficult to understand as a crushed head and a bruised heel. Well, with the exception of sitting on David’s throne and ruling the world forever. That became something to fiercely cling to when God’s people were living under foreign rule. Many thought He would be a warrior who would wipe out the oppressor and set His children free.

When Gabriel spoke to Mary, the Promise became even more defined. She, a virgin, would conceive by the Holy Spirit and give birth to a Son. The Son would be the longed for Messiah, the Savior. While she knew it put her in mortal peril…unmarried pregnant women were usually stoned to death…she accepted. If she was to carry the Holy One of God, He would protect her.

Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth. It is not the end and fulfillment of the Promise, but it is a big step in the story of its unfolding. Reading the story gives you the idea that this Messiah is not quite what the people of Israel expected.

He wasn’t born in a castle, attended by noteworthy physicians. He was born in a cattle stall and had a manger for His bed. We don’t even know for sure if there was a midwife present, though there probably was.

During Jesus’ ministry, hope ran high. The people believed He was the Messiah, and they couldn’t wait to see the hated Romans conquered and driven away. If they had listened to His teachings, they might have realized that Jesus was to conquer something much larger than the Romans, though through Him and His church, that did eventually happen.

This part of the Promise starts at Easter. Jesus didn’t come as a physical warrior. He was and is a spiritual warrior. His enemy (and ours) is death and the separation from God. He was without sin and sacrificed on a Roman cross. This sacrifice was the last one needed, for it was God’s own Son who laid down His life.

Upon His resurrection, Jesus vanquished death, hell and the grave. He opened the pathway to God again, so we could be seen and loved. His blood covers our sins, so the Righteous One can look upon us.

That is not the end of the Promise either. There was more to come. When Christ ascended into heaven, He told His followers to wait in Jerusalem until the Helper came. That happened at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled all of the disciples. They were able to speak to all who were in the Holy City in their own tongues and to preach about the works of Jesus. As that city was a veritable Tower of Babel, that is amazing. But it isn’t the end.

The fulfillment of the Promise is still to come. We will once again actually be with God. We will look upon Him and He will welcome us. There will be no more pain, no more tears. There will be no more wars, no more disease and no more death. That is the fulfillment of the Promise made to Adam and Eve.

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