“Jesus in the Protevangelium”

Categories: Bible Moment

The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.’”  Genesis 3:14-15

Society loves origins.  We are obsessed with: “Where did they come from?”  “How did this all start?”  “Why did the story end this way?”  This is why movie makers and book writers have given us pre-quals.  The Bible has given us the Protevangelium for the Greatest Story Ever Told.  Here is today’s Bible moment…

The Spirit of God uses frightening imagery to describe the battle between good and evil, God and the devil, and man and sin when He spoke of the woman, her Seed, and the serpent.  Man had been deceived by the devil who had appeared in the form of a serpent (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9).  Due to the serpent’s craftiness and man’s disobedience to God’s Word, sin reigned in the heart of man and separated man from God (Genesis 2:16-17; Isaiah 59:2).  Even so, God looked at His children with love and spoke the Protevangelium.

Protevangelium comes from the Latin: proto-first, original; and Evangelium-gospel.[1]  Salvation comes through the Son Jesus the Christ and in Genesis 3:14-15 God promised mankind salvation from their sins.  God pronounced a curse on the serpent that one day he would be defeated with a crushing blow to the head (Genesis 3:14-15).  When Jesus was crucified the devil fulfilled part of the Protevangelium promise, “…and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”  (Genesis 3:15) However, the promise that provided hope to mankind was when God said, “…He [Jesus] will crush you [the devil] on the head…”  (ibid).  This was the first Gospel preached, and it was preached to Adam and Eve-Jesus the Son of God would one day come to offer salvation to mankind!

The Bible moment…

Even though theologians define Protevangelium as the first Gospel, there is one Gospel.  The message of salvation was prophesied in Genesis and pointed to the future fulfillment in Christ.  God so loved us that He had the forethought to have a plan to save mankind, to make provision for our sins, and to eventually send His Son to die on our behalf (John 3:16, 36).


[1] (Longman, 2005)