We just completed a series of prophecies related to birth and childhood of the coming Messiah. In this installment, and for the next several weeks, we will look at eight prophecies regarding the lineage of the coming Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament thousands of years before his birth.
In this first prophecy, we will look at the proto-evangelica – the very first prophecy contained in the Old Testament. In Genesis 3, we read the story of The Fall of Man in which Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent and disobey God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As part of the curse brought on by that disobedience, God tells the serpent (Satan):
“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.” [Genesis 3:15]
The implication if that the offspring of the woman would be bruised by Satan (fulfilled in the crucifixion). Meanwhile, the seed of woman (Christ) would crush Satan (bruise his head).
Now, let’s look at the New Testament fulfillment of this prophecy that the Messiah would come from the seed of woman. It may seem obvious to us in hindsight that a man would have to be born of a woman, but we should keep two things in mind. First, God is all powerful and presumably could have chosen to send the Messiah in any number of ways which would not have involved being born of a woman. Secondly, in a very patriarchal society, it is extraordinary that this very first prophecy of the coming Messiah points not to a father of the Messiah but to the woman.
Now, let’s look at several New Testament passages indicating that Jesus was indeed offspring of the woman:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” [Matthew 1:18-21]
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. [Luke 1:34-35]
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,” [Galatians 4:4]
The New Testament leaves no doubt that Jesus was born a baby to a woman in the town of Bethlehem. He was indeed from the seed of the woman.
Furthermore, the New Testament confirms that the seed of woman, though bruised in the heel, did conquer Satan:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,” [Hebrews 2:14]
The proto-evangelica as it is called is an amazing prophecy. Just three chapters into the story, and immediately following man’s rejection of God, God tells man that he will save him and conquer the enemy all of which was fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Image courtesy of Abby Reed