THE WONDER OF CHRIST AS SAVIOR
In the Garden of Eden, after the man had sinned, God judged him according to his righteousness. However, because he loved the man, he promised to save him (Genesis 3:15). God created man to contain him as his life. However, deceived by Satan, man disobeyed God and sin entered into him and thus he lost the privilege to receive God as his life.
Therefore, after the fall, God gave man two great promises: that he would rescue him from the control of Satan, and would give him his life to fulfill his purpose.
God promised that the seed of the woman would come to strike the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). This was the first great gospel to man! The woman’s seed is Christ, who was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4).
Based on these promises, God prophesied in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ who is God come in the flesh to save mankind. It was prophesied that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that he would have no desirable appearance (Isaiah 52:14, 53:2), and would be anointed by God for his ministry (Isaiah 61:1, 42:1). The year, month, day and place of his death and how he would die was predicted accurately (Daniel 9:24-26, Exodus 12:1-6, Genesis 22:2, Deuteronomy 21:23, Zechariah. 12:10; Psalm 34:20). The prophecies also showed that he would die and rise from the dead on the third day (Matt. 12:40). When Christ came, he fulfilled all the promises and prophecies. The details with which the coming of Christ was prophesied and the way they were divinely fulfilled are amazing! The central theme of the Old Testament is the Christ promised and prophesied by God.
The Gospel of John affirms that the Word was God (John 1:1) and that the Word became flesh. (John 1:14) This Word is Christ, who is truly God and truly man. His coming fulfilled all the promises and prophecies of God. As the God-Man, he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem and lived a genuinely human life for thirty-three and a half years, yet without sin. Finally, he died on the exact date and place prophesied hundreds of years before.
The death of Christ accomplished wonderful things for us. Through his death, he redeemed, forgave, washed, justified and reconciled us to God. He redeemed us by paying a high price to buy us back to God. He justified us by accounting us righteous before God. He reconciled us while we were yet enemies of God, by bringing us back to him, to enjoy peace and harmony with him. Overall, however, the death of Christ bruised the serpent’s head as promised in Genesis 3:15 (see Hebrews 2:14).
On the third day he rose again to send us the Spirit of life (I Corinthians 15:45) to give life to man, the promise of Genesis 22:18 (see Galatians 3:14). He became the promised Spirit to give man eternal life as a blessing. The man’s negative problems were solved and his initial right to receive God was recovered by the death of Jesus Christ. Now man can believe in Jesus and be saved from sin and death, and receive the life of God to fulfill his eternal purpose. We should praise God and love our Savior for all that he has done.