“He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” ~ Genesis 3:15
Prophecy: The seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.
The opening chapters of the Bible are hard to fathom. What would it have been like to live in that world before sin and death?
In Genesis 1, Adam and Eve were crowned king and queen of the earth. God put a little corner of His creation into their care as His image-bearers. He told the original pair to subdue the world and keep it in good order. Their commission was to make the rest of earth look like Eden.
In Genesis 2, we’re introduced to a Paradise where God and man could meet and speak freely. Adam was made a priest, tasked with upholding the Garden’s sanctity and making sure God’s law was followed. This made a fitting place for God’s holy presence to dwell.
Stretch yourself for a moment, and try to imagine that world. Abundant life. A fruitful earth. Perfect freedom and peace. God and man together. Earth as it was, as it was meant to be. If we can put ourselves there, then we will able to feel afresh just how tragic it was when it all unraveled in Genesis 3.
The serpent’s scheme destroyed our innocence. Earth’s king and queen were dethroned by their sin. Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden as lawbreakers who had defiled the holy place. Man could no longer meet with God, not like before. Through one small act, suddenly what had so much potential looked like a failed experiment.
But God’s promise intervened. God declared,
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed,
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15).
This brief word from God in Genesis 3:15 contains the story of the whole Bible. By God’s grace, mankind would continue on. Yet by God’s judgment, so would the serpent. The two would remain in a bitter stalemate until one climactic event. The woman’s seed would be injured temporarily; the serpent’s seed would be defeated forever.
When all seemed lost, God made this primordial promise, the very first gospel proclamation. He announced, millennia ahead of time, the events accomplished at Easter. “When the fullness of time came,” Paul says, “God sent His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). The author of Hebrews explains, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless to him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus Christ was the seed of the woman, sharing fully in human nature yet without being tainted by sin. Christ succeeded where Adam failed. On Good Friday, the serpent bruised His heel. But on Easter Sunday, our Lord bruised the serpent’s head, giving Satan a deadly blow by His glorious resurrection.
We have difficulty imagining what the world of Genesis 1–2 would have been like, but it still haunts us. It is a distant memory that cannot ever be erased from the human heart. Every person, even the most skeptical of God, has a longing for God’s presence that lies unfulfilled. C.S. Lewis called this “a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience,” even though “our experience is constantly suggesting it.” Every time we encounter something beautiful, we get a refracted glimpse of Paradise. Lewis described this as, “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
We all want to go back to Eden. Easter completes the story, announced in Genesis 3:15, of what God said it would take to get us back there. Or, more accurately, Easter marks the victory of a new Adam, the beginning of a new humanity, and the first fruits of a New Creation whose dawning light broke through on a spring morning 2,000 years ago.
We will reign again as God intended. We will enjoy the fullness of God’s presence again. Because of what was fulfilled at Easter, we now look forward to the day when a booming voice will announce the happy news, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them” (Revelation 21:3).
Questions for Thought
- If someone had never read the Bible before, how would you explain the Creation and Fall to them in simple language?
- Why do you think God allowed the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman to be at odds with one another for so long? Why did God wait for “the fullness of time,” as Paul called it in Galatians 4:4?
Read Genesis 1–3 and try to think about the story through the lens of what Christ accomplished at Easter. Praise God and thank Him for the future hope of being in God’s presence forever!
Andrew became a member at First Baptist Dallas in 2012 and has been on staff full-time since 2020. He serves as teacher of the Credo Sunday School class. Andrew has received a Master of Theology in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and Master of Public Service Administration from the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University. He is currently working toward a PhD in political philosophy in the Institute of Philosophic Studies program at the University of Dallas. Andrew and his wife Ana have four children.