We’ve referenced Genesis 3 a few times so far this Advent, but what do we see there?
“…and I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Living in Eden, a perfect place, God and man dwelling together, you would be forgiven for thinking that things would always remain perfect. Sadly not. Creation chose to disobey the one thing they were told not to do (cf. Genesis 2.17).
But as soon as this happens, God is on the scene with a gift.
God is on the scene with a gift of grace that they had not earned.
God is on the scene with the gift of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of redemption, and of restoration.
The best part is that this gift wasn’t earned, it never could be then and we can never earn it now.
Even though Adam and Eve, man and woman, had the absolute prefect conditions in which to live, even though they had at theirfingertips everything they needed to be happy, fulfilled, and content, it still wasn’t enough for them, was it?
There was still the opportunity to disobey, to contravene, to transgress, to sin. If anyone had a fighting chance of enjoying true fellowship with God simply in their natural state were, we’d have to say that it was Adam and Eve, right? But again, as soon as they sinned, God is there with a solution:
“…he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Now, at this point in the narrative the details of the gift are few and far between, aren’t they? But, toiling away for generations (Genesis 3.16–19) this would have been the promise to which people clung:
“And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Someone is coming: offspring of a woman, born of a woman, child of a woman, who will, though injured in the process, strike a crushing and deadly blow against the schemes and deceptions of evil.
Did the people earn that? No.
It was given to them out of love and out of a desire for the return of true and intimate relationship and fellowship.
It was given out of a desire to forgive, to redeem, and to restore.
This gift, though the details of it are shrouded in future fog at this point in the grand narrative of God’s Word, was always part of the plan and was eventually embodied and came through one man (John 1.14a).
This gift, then, was always part of the plan and it was ready before the recipients knew anything about it (John 1.4–5).
The same is true for you.
This gift is exactly what you need, whether you realise it or not. This gift was ready for you before you even knew you needed it. It’s no more or no less than you truly need.
Restoration of right relationship – God and man dwelling together again.
So, as we rapidly approach Christmas Day, we can ask ourselves, is there a gift I’ve always needed?
Yes, there is. To fulfill the potential you were made with, to fulfill the purpose you were made for – close and intimate and eternal fellowship with God – something needs to happen first. God cannot be in the presence of sin, cannot tolerate sin, and cannot ignore sin. What did He do about it? He gave you a gift that rectifies it: you haven’t earned it, and you never will. It’s a gift despite your sin, a wonderful, grace-filled gift of the way back to Him (John 14.6).
The gift of Jesus we celebrate at Christmas, then, was always planned, always needed, and always the perfect gift whether we knew it or not.