The original cynic is the serpent in Eden: “Has God indeed said…?” (Gen. 3:1b). The first humans were created to love God, trust Him, and enjoy His fellowship unhindered. Satan slipped in just a small, harmless question to the woman – what would seem so innocent to ask, but the true face of it shows through. (Bear with a little embellishment of the imagination here).
Is God really trustworthy? He must be hiding something from you. Think of it, Eve, I mean… yeah! This garden is great. Sure, you get to eat anything you want, well; almost anything. Why has God withheld this one tree from you? What pleasure and joy has He kept for Himself? Don’t you think it was a little unfair of God to keep the best for Himself and to leave you with all of these mediocre treats?
Here God created an entire universe to share with the humans. The earth was their glorious playground – open for their enjoyment and sustenance. But isn’t it the way of the cynic, to spot the one tiny little rule in the world of liberty and love, and to HAVE to break it? God must have been keeping something back from Adam and Eve! He sure was – death, disease, destruction, divorce, murder, adultery, drug abuse, war, lying politicians, mass-shootings in elementary schools, poverty, starvation, dysentery, and all the billions of other forms of brokenness we now have to live with in our once perfect world.
MAYDAY! SEND HELP!
The human race listened to the cynic, and fell hard. Each of us today is born under the curse of that first sin – that first questioning of God’s goodness and love. And don’t we still question Him there? When things go horribly wrong, whom do we blame ultimately?
Are you a cynic? It’s hard not to be when just about everything in our society is built on cynicism.
Yet Christmas is the crushing of the head of the cynic. Look at the promise God made to the cynic right after the fall of humankind:
So the LORD God said to the serpent: … I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Gen. 3:14a, 15).
BOOM! Head-crushing battle coming! Do you see the capital “S” for Seed in the second mention of seed? That’s because that would be… JESUS. Yahweh God, in the very moment of our greatest brokenness and need, promised a gift; a Savior – the very thing we would need most. God promised to crush the head of the cynic with the foot of His own Son.
But notice also that the seed of the serpent would bruise Jesus as well. Here is the gospel of Christmas right there in the 3rd chapter of the Bible: even though humankind sinned and did not trust God, but sided with the cynic, God immediately went to work to restore us and bring us light in our darkness.
He did it. He accomplished His promises. One lonely night in Bethlehem, Judea, a little baby was born in an animal stable. He was born from the virgin – the Seed of the woman! Jesus had come to do His Father’s will… and what was that? “that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:38b). Jesus came out of heaven – He left His eternal throne of glory to be born a peasant child. God became flesh and walked among us, folks!
God forever refutes the cynic from Eden – He did give us everything He had, the very, very best that heaven had to give: JESUS THE SON OF GOD!
This is the point of Christmas. Jesus was born; God invaded our world as a common-man. He lived the perfect life of obedience and sinlessness that Adam and Eve failed to live… and Jesus offered His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay for our cynicism and sin. He accomplished redemption for His people! Christmas!
He crushed the head of the serpent just as He Himself was being crushed on the cross. Christmas!
He bled and died in the place of you and me. Christmas!
His love was on full display for a rebellious, ugly humanity. Christmas!
God is the true Santa Claus: He truly gives gifts to all people… but even better, He gives gifts to those who do NOT deserve it, have not been good little boys and girls, and actually deserve a lot worse than a lump of coal. CHRISTMAS!
And Jesus proved all of this by rising from the dead. Easter! Oh, wait…
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the giver of the gift of forgiveness, and you shall be saved.
Merry Christmas, 2012
Thanks for reading,