Genesis 3:15-The First Messianic Prophecy
Genesis 3:15 is the first link in a whole chain of Messianic prophecies that provide us with a detailed picture of Messiah. For the sake of brevity only a few references in that long line will be listed here. This verse is known as the protoevangelium or the ‘first gospel’ and it is also the first prophecy with the promise of a Redeemer. On its own it gives us a broad outline and reassurance of a Deliverer though as we trace this prophecy and link Scripture with Scripture, an increasingly precise depiction of Messiah appears. It is like commencing a jigsaw puzzle by starting from the corners, filling in the lines and working towards the centre until a clear portrait emerges.
“And 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.” (Genesis 3:15)
Genesis 3:15 and the Scriptures
Following Genesis 3:15, we uncover more information about the identity of Messiah through reading further on in Scripture. In Genesis 12:3 we discover that all families on earth will be blessed through the seed of Abraham and this would continue
through the line of Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 26:4; 28:14). In Genesis 49:10 the lineage of Messiah is further narrowed through the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and in Isaiah 11:1 we read about the Branch of Jesse, who is the Messiah. The Lord Jesus Christ is David’s greater Son.
Specifically relating to Genesis 3:15, there is a remarkable prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 which helps us to make sense of how the seed of the woman would result in the coming Messiah. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Later in the New Testament, Matthew provides the genealogy of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 all the way back from Abraham and shows that He was both a descendant of Abraham and David and also recognises Him as Messiah “Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated. “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
Paul explains further “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16) Also, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4)
Through the death and resurrection of Messiah, atonement for sin was made. Satan will be crushed under our feet shortly (Romans 16:20). At the end of the Bible, Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 confirm that Satan, who is the Devil, is that serpent of old (Genesis 3:15) and will be punished forever (Revelation 20:10).
The Vital Message
Death entered the world and spread to all men through Adam resulting in condemnation. Immediately after the transgression, sin entered the world, and a Saviour was needed to restore our relationship with the Creator and to save us from the judgement to come. This affects us all and the Scriptures are clear on this. There is none who does good, no not one (Psalm 53:1-3), for there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
Blood was shed to provide garments for Adam and Eve to wear and hide their nakedness since they were no longer innocent. Messiah could be identified through His precise fulfilment of prophecy, lineage and miracles and gave Himself, and His blood was shed providing atonement for sin. This was where Messiah was wounded and His heel bruised, though He will crush Satan under our feet. Through one Man’s righteous act we can be made righteous and be reconciled to God by turning from our sins and by trusting, and following the promised Messiah.