I do not know about you, but the pictures of terror in the news can horrify me, almost to the point of vomiting. And yet, no hate nor murder nor beheading can overtake the light of hope that yet shines in the Gospel.
This is, in fact, what we find from the very beginning. Before the first horrific day had ended, after God pronounced curses on his was-perfect creation for the sin that began all human sin, we find Gospel hope. Not once, not twice, but in three different ways the next verses point us forward to the redemption that would take away death, and horror’s, sting forever.
- In Genesis 3:20, Adam names his wife Eve (meaning life-giver), because she is the mother of all living. This is Gospel. Adam, it seems, is responding in faith to the hope of his wife’s “seed” being victorious over Satan, as God just promised in the serpent’s curse. His hope is in his wife becoming Mommy.
- “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” So God warned Adam before he and his wife indeed did eat the fruit. But Adam and Eve did not die on that day! Did God not keep his word? In Romans 3:21-26 we find that God’s word-keeping justice is justified when the substitute death of his Son counts for forgiven sinners. That very Gospel reality is foreshadowed in Genesis 3:21, in the death of a beast to cover sin’s naked shame.
- Genesis 3:22-24 tell us that angels are put in place to keep Adam and Eve from the Tree of Life. And yet despite that horror, did you notice that hope yet remains for eternal life? If one could reach the Tree of Life then he would live forever–God himself has said so! We are not able to overrun the angels, but we do know one who is. Is this not also a hint of Gospel hope?!
Terror and horror, your sting is gone. You may kill us, or our brothers and sisters in Iraq, but you will never take away the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ.