The Snake-Crusher

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust  all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:14-19)

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  (Colossians 2:13-15)
It isn’t easy to read the curse which the Lord pronounced over humanity after Adam and Eve sinned. People tend to blame God for all the suffering in the world, but these verses insist that all of it can be traced back to our own human rebellion against him. As a result of sin, trouble and tragedy entered the world. People began to experience the pain of childbirth, and of physical sickness more generally. People started feeling crushed by their heavy labour, which includes both famine in Africa and frustration in Europe. When the Lord warned Adam and Eve that sin would bring death into the world, he really meant it. These verses make for some pretty horrific reading
And yet right there at the heart of these difficult verses, we find a verse which speaks glorious hope to us all. In Genesis 3:15, moments after sin entered the world, the Lord revealed that he had a Saviour waiting in the wings. His own Son would come to earth to be born of a virgin woman. He would become the Snake-Crusher!

The New Testament explains that this was God’s plan all along (Romans 8:20-21). Jesus had been as good as crucified since before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Jesus would never eat the fruit of disobedience to his Father. He would never deserve the curse that the Lord spoke over humanity in Genesis 3, yet he would wear a crown of thorns to lift that curse off from us. He would allow the snake to strike his heel when he was nailed to a cruel cross in order to pay the just penalty for our sin. He would crush the snake’s head when he rose again from the dead, defeating and disarming the Devil. Jesus, the Snake-Crusher, restores us to a right relationship with God!
1)   To whom does God prophesy about Jesus in Genesis 3:15? Is it to Adam, to Eve or to the snake?
2)   What is the significance of this? How does it change our understanding of the Gospel when we see it, not just God forgiving our sins, but as God defeating the great enemy of our souls?
3)   List some of the ways in which the Devil is currently wrecking the world around you. Jesus has given you authority, through his blood, to take a stand against those things in prayer. So what’s stopping you?
Father God, I thank you that you had your Saviour waiting in the wings for us, even before Adam and Eve sinned. Thank you that Jesus has now come to earth and has utterly triumphed over the Devil. Thank you that the curse is broken and the Devil is a disarmed and defeated foe. Please hear my prayers as I bring them before you now. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.