Satan had deceived mankind; then he thought he could sever the relationship between them forever…
2 From the fruit of his mouth a person eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
Satan’s first deception in Genesis 3 was that God was hiding something,
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What Satan said was true, but Adam and Eve weren’t old enough and mature enough to handle the temptations that come with that knowledge. We still aren’t mature enough.
Satan’s second deception was that desire trumps God,
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye [desire], and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
The desire became everything. It doesn’t matter what it is: sugar, caffeine, cocaine, sex, power, being right, etc. They become everything on which we focus; they fill our vision until they are all that we see.
The third deception was the most insidious, and it is that now God couldn’t love them anymore.
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
There was, indeed, a consequence for their sin, but it wasn’t what they thought. They thought that they were not worthy to be in God’s presence anymore, that they were dirty, stained, and broken. Indeed, something was broken that day, but it was the world, nature, and our bodies, not the relationship. If we read carefully, God came looking for them, cared for them, and saved them from an eternal state of broken physical bodies (nature and the world followed suit). God never left them, never stopped caring for them, and never quit pursuing a relationship with them.
When Jesus came, He showed us the Father as we had never seen Him before. Jesus said that He is just like Him because God and He were (are) one (John 10:30). Satan believed that if he could get people to kill Jesus, then the relationship between mankind and God would be irreparably broken. Not So! In fact, mankind gave Jesus their best shot by nailing Him to a cross, but all it did was prove that God’s love could NEVER be broken. Also, Jesus’ death and resurrection showed that nothing was beyond Him. Neither are we. His sacrifice of love ripped off the deception of Satan that was over our eyes so that now we can see that He has loved us all along and invites us to join Him in the Fellowship of the Trinity.
Satan’s deception has now been revealed. The Father loves us and holds nothing against us–never has, never will. Satan is losing the war as this Good News goes forth into the world. Like I said, “None of the rulers of this age [Satan included] understood this [God’s plan to blow Satan’s cover], for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” 1 Corinthians 2:8.
Here is the Gospel in Jesus’ words, “Now is the judgment of this world [the whole world hangs in the balance]; now will the ruler of this world be cast out [and his deception exposed]. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:31-32
When Jesus entered into this world as a baby, it was to grow up and give His life to show that God’s love is extreme. In fact, His mercy is everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 103:17), we are forever in His embrace (Psalm 112:6), He is our everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6), and fountains of living water spring from us to eternal life (John 4:14). THIS is what Jesus came to show us. THIS is what Christmas is all about!
Abba, I praise You for Your wondrous love and mercy! Thank You for showing us through Jesus. May we never doubt Your love and grace that You pour out on Your children. Amen.