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O Come, Emmanuel

“‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring: he shall bruise you head, and you shall bruise his heel’” (Genesis 3:15).

The story of Christmas is the most beloved among Christians. It’s the story of how God came to earth as a human being so that He could live among us, share in our sorrows, and ultimately give His life so that we might never die. It’s the story of how God loved us so much that He willingly gave up everything in order for us to be with Him again.

But the story doesn’t start in a manger in Bethlehem. The first whispers of God’s miraculous plan of salvation come in the very first book of the Bible.

When God created the first two people, He gave them one rule: to not eat of the tree in the center of the garden in which He had placed them. But when they broke that rule, they also broke their relationship with God. They had sinned, and now they were doomed to death and separation from God.

Yet God still loved them, and the separation broke His heart as much as it did theirs. Even as God meted out judgment for their rebellion, He spoke of one who was coming to set things right. Satan, the great enemy of God’s people, had deceived these first two humans into disobedience, and there would be strife between them for all time. But someone was coming, an offspring of the woman whom Satan had deceived, who would defeat Satan once and for all.

That one would be spoken of throughout the rest of the Bible. Prophets would foretell His arrival, down to the finest details. Priests would make sacrifices as foreshadowing of what He would do. Kings would look forward to the day when He would rule over all the earth in perfect power.

Jesus was coming.

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