Ever wonder how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden before the Serpent showed up and everything went south? Was it on the eighth day, the 80th, the 800th? We’ll never know until we see Jesus, but we know they were living lives of blessing in a world of beauty beyond anything we can imagine. Their marriage was all God meant it to be – companionship and pleasure without any of the things that tear people apart today. There was no curse of sin – no allergies or sickness, no disasters or heartaches. No snow. Hallelujah – no snow.
Most of all they enjoyed the presence of God, experiencing his love and his holiness without any hint of separation. Then, one day, everything changed. The Serpent showed up, hissed his lies to Eve while Adam stood by in silence and the party was over. God is unfair. He is preventing you from enjoying all of life. Yeah, you get all those other trees, but how can he withhold that one tree from you and still claim to love you? And, no, God is not that holy. He isn’t going to punish you for disobeying. He’s going to kill you and send you to hell for eating a fruit? Really? No way. In fact, that’s how you can become everything you are meant to be. Disobedience will make you wise, like a god yourself.
And they bought it. Eve bit the fruit, then Adam, rejecting the command God had given him and embracing sin, followed his wife’s lead and took the fruit as well. Then God showed up. He put a curse on the earth, on the man, and on the woman. Sin brings us down. It separates us from God, sets us on a course of death, and curses our marriages, our homes, our cultures, even nature itself.
But in Genesis 3:15, God lowered the boom on the Serpent. If all we had was Genesis, we’d know nothing about who that serpent was, but Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 make it clear that the “ancient serpent” is none other than Satan himself. Genesis 3:15 is the theme for the entire Bible’s story.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.
This is the story of the Bible in two lines. The Serpent’s seeks to bruise the heel of the descendants of Eve until the conflict climaxes outside the walls of Jerusalem when THE Seed, the Promised One, Messiah, was killed – his heel struck by the Serpent’s ultimate death strike, seeking to inject enough poison to stop the work of God forever. He failed. At the cross, when he struck Jesus’ feet, Jesus crushed his head and the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled.
I’d like to mention four truths very briefly that flow from that truth.
1) This is the Serpent’s World.
Oh, yes, ultimately Jesus is Lord and is in charge, but this world has fallen under the sway of Satan’s lies and is loyal to them. Look at several verses.
In John 12:31 and John 16:11, Jesus calls the Serpent the “ruler of this world” 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” We know, according to Ephesians 2:2, that “the ruler of the power of the air” is “the spirit now working in the disobedient.”
Through his lies, Satan has blinded and enslaved the disobedient to sin. People choose that which is contrary to God’s will and sin against him, bringing God’s judgment on their own lives. Today, you live in a world that is loyal to the other side. People are born in sin, enslaved to it, deceived by it, and drawn inexorably into its grasp. They cannot break free and unless the Spirit works in them, do not even want to.
Why is this world so evil? Because the serpent is nipping at the heels of the descendants of Eve. Why are things getting worse? As time draws on, he is becoming bolder and more aggressive in his evil, preparing for that final confrontation. His venom is stronger and bite deeper.
To change metaphors, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” He’s out there on the prowl. He’s hungry and he’s looking for lunch.
This has been a week in which I have seen the evidence of the Serpent’s power, his lies, and his grip over people I care about. The Serpent bit the heel of a man my wife and I love and care about deeply – a situation every reader here likely knows about. I’ve been talking to a friend who is feeling despair because he feels the Serpent’s venom running through his veins. I feel it in my own life all too often and in my church and in the people I minister to. Pick up a paper, watch the news – the Serpent is still injecting his venom in this world.
And I am sick of it. I hate it. I’m tired of that stupid Serpent biting my heel and injecting his venom, and I am sick to death of seeing it flow through the veins of those I care about, people I love.
That is why I love Good Friday.
2) The Serpent’s Head is Crushed.
Do you look forward to the fact that one day Jesus is going to beat the Serpent?
Then you don’t understand the Bible, my friend.
Jesus is not GOING TO beat the Serpent. He ALREADY HAS. Good Friday was herpetological suicide. When the Serpent bit Jesus’ heel, Jesus squished the Serpent’s head!.
What an idiot you are Satan. Yeah, I know, I’m a fool too, because I listen to your lies sometimes, but you are the biggest fool ever. You thought you were destroying the Son of God and he dealt you a death blow from which you will never recover. When you whispered, plotted, and schemed to send Jesus to the cross, you sealed your own fate!
And I couldn’t be happier.
This is what Paul says about all that you accomplished through your schemes to put Jesus on the Cross.
This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:14-15
The Cross is the greatest comeback story in history – at least from our vantage point. God had it planned all along. But from the cheap seats in Jerusalem it looked like evil men had conquered the Sinless Son. And can you imagine the glee among the principalities and powers as Jesus hung in agony on the cross? They’d lived in terror of him – he’d cast them out. Jesus was a real, live demon bully and now he was hanging in shame and agony, experiencing the wrath of God and being ridiculed by the world. Hell never had a better moment in history.
But then Jesus spoke in his final moments and the comeback was complete – Satan’s glee turned to horror and gloating in the halls of hell was choked. “It is FINISHED.” It was history’s grandest moment. A walk-off, buzzer-beater, (Hail Mary?) moment.
Oh, my friend, Jesus is not battling Satan, the battle is over and the winner has been declared.
God isn’t trying to figure out how to win. He is seated on the throne.
Your salvation is purchased, paid in full by the blood of Christ.
Satan is evil, he’s devious, he’s real, but he’s finished because Jesus said, “It is finished.”
If you have trusted Jesus Christ today, you can walk through this sinful world in confidence because you are on the winning team.
3) The Serpent Still Bites.
I know what you are thinking.
If the Serpent is defeated, why is he still winning so often? Why is the world still such a mess?
Have you heard of someone being bitten by the severed head of a venomous snake? Big game hunters know that a wounded animal is often a dangerous animal. Right now, the serpent, wounded at the Cross, destined for death, is seeking to take as many people with him as he can. He has received the fatal wound but he has not yet died. His fate is sealed, but not accomplished.
He wants to lie to you.
He wants to sow as much discord as he can in the body of Christ.
He wants to lead as many people astray as he can.
He wants to send deceivers into the Body of Christ.
He is not going to stop. Not until Someone stops him. But that’s the good news.
He is still a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour but the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is bigger and better and is ready to crush him.
His days are numbered, his destiny is sealed and his wound is fatal, but his bite is still venemous.
4) The Serpent Will Be Cast into the Fire.
There have been accusations made before – scurrilous, untrue and unfair, of course – that I can get a little bit out of hand when I watch sports. In 1996, when the Yankees won the World Series for the first time is a brutally painful 18 years, I was watching with my son Ben, who was then 6 years old. The final game was tense as the good guys battled the evil Atlanta Braves. Jenni left to run an errand and while she was gone, Charlie Hayes caught a popup in foul ground for the third out, and I rejoiced. A few minutes later Jenni returned and Ben pulled her to the side, concern on his face, and said, “Mom, Dad went a little crazy.”
That was a great moment, but there’s an even better one I’m waiting for, promised in God’s word. Check out Revelation 20:7-10.
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 They came up across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
At the end of a 1000-year prison sentence, the Serpent will be released and will gather all those loyal to him and try one last move against God. Like all those before, it will utterly fail. And Jesus will bring Satan, the devil, the deceiver, the Dragon, that Ancient Serpent, the Liar, the one who sows discord in the church, who drags people to hell with his lies, who encourages rebellion and approves of sin, the one who calls evil good and good evil, light dark and dark light, that creature of hate and evil will be brought out by my Savior and Lord and will be led to his judgment. I hope he will be whimpering and begging the whole way. I want to stand there and cheer as our King of kings casts him once and for all into the Lake of Fire where he will be tormented day and night forever and ever and ever.
You are finished Serpent.
Your days are numbered.
You might bite a few heels today, but your head has been crushed, your days are numbered, your destiny is secure – you are headed for the lake of fire where you will be tormented day and night. I cannot wait.
I am sick of you and your lies and your evil and the pain you cause.
I rejoice that the Jesus I serve has defeated you.
That day is gonna be sweet!
In the meantime, my friends, let us remember this, we serve the Truth, and truth always defeats the lies. We serve the one who is Life, and life defeats death. We serve the one who is righteous and holy, and he has defeated sin.
I would remind you today of two truths.
1) There is absolutely NO future in rebellion against God. The Serpent is defeated. Right now, it may seem like he is winning but it can never happen. All sin can give is a moment of fun but it is always a losing choice. One day, the liar will be cast into the Lake of Fire. There is no future in rebellion and sin. Don’t be deceived by his lies.
2) There is unlimited power and a future in Jesus. The Seed of Woman who defeated the Serpent is what you need.
If you need to be saved from your sins today, he is Salvation.
If you are weak, he is strength.
If you are being tempted, he is holiness.
If you are backslidden, he is the restorer.
If you are discouraged, he is joy.
If you are confused, he is wisdom.
Jesus is all you need.