The Messiah will reconcile mankind with God

Bible passage: Genesis 3:15
Prophet: Moses*
Written: As early as 1400 BC

This article is contributed by Ray Konig, the author of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Miracle Worker, and 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies.

By Ray Konig
Published: Feb. 11, 2020
Updated: April 29, 2024

Many scholars refer to Genesis 3:15 as being the first in the Bible to predict the Messiah.

It is certainly the first to provide a glimpse into the need for the Messiah and the role that the Messiah would play. And it shares important connections with other Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. So, there are Biblical reasons to conclude that Genesis 3:15 is a Messianic prophecy and that it is the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible.

Genesis 3:15, by itself, might not seem to have anything to do with the Messiah, nor might it seem to explain why the Messiah is needed. But, the greater context of Genesis, especially in chapters 2 and 3, help to explain these things.

In Genesis, chapter 2, Adam and Eve are created by God. They are the first human beings with souls. They are placed in the Garden of Eden, where they live in a state of perfection, in a world without sin, disease or corruption.

Presumably, Adam and Eve would live forever in this perfect world of the Garden of Eden, so long as they don’t sin against God, based on the details that are given in Genesis, chapters 2 and 3.

But, everything changes in Genesis, chapter 3, when Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempts Adam and Eve into sinning against God. He does this by persuading them to eat from the fruit of a tree in the center of the garden, the one and only tree that God had previously instructed that Adam and Eve were not to eat from:

but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, WEB).

Because of their sin, Adam and Eve bring corruption into their perfect world. And they are cast out from the Garden of Eden, as they no longer are able to live in a place of perfection.

Just before Adam and Eve are evicted from the garden, God speaks to Satan, the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve to sin:

Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go on your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. (Genesis 3:14, WEB)

Then, in the next verse, God reveals what he will do in response to the introduction of sin into an otherwise perfect world:

I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15, WEB)

Genesis 3:15 is the first verse in the Bible to speak of a problem of any kind -- the problem of sin, which causes a separation between people and God. And it is the first verse to allude to the solution -- the promise of a savior, the Messiah, who will resolve the problem of sin and reconcile people with God.

With the introduction of sin into the world, Adam and Eve, and their descendants, which is all of mankind, will live in a state of conflict or hostility with sin.

The Messiah is alluded to later in the verse, with the mention of he. This word plays off the collective noun of offspring, as in Eve’s descendants, and it allows for the understanding that it is speaking of a singular descendant of Eve, as in the Messiah.

How do we know that this he is the Messiah? Because of the role he will play. In Genesis 3:15, God is announcing the problem of sin, and that problem needs a solution, as in someone to deal with the problem. The he will be that someone -- he will be the one who bruises the head of the serpent, meaning he will be the one who deals with Satan and the problem of sin.

At this point in the Bible, the serpent of Genesis 3:15 does not yet have a name. But later in the Bible, in 1 Chronicles 21:1, we get the word Satan as a way to refer to this being who tempts people to sin.

Genesis 3:15 notes that the he and the serpent will be injured, as in bruised. These injuries should be viewed as fatal, because Genesis 3:15 is a response to the problem of sin, and Genesis 2:17 has already established that sin leads to death.

So, with this in mind, Eve will have a descendant, the Messiah, who will deal with Satan and the problem of sin. The Messiah will die in the process, and his death will be the solution to the problem of sin. In other words, his death will pay for the cost, the penalty, and the price of sin, which is death.

What all this means, as explained throughout the New Testament, is that anyone who believes in the Messiah, Jesus, who died for our sins, will be forgiven of their sins and granted eternal life in the Kingdom of God, also known as the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Gospel of John, which is a part of the New Testament, offers a summary:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16, WEB)

These words are a quote from Jesus, which he gave during the early part of his public ministry about 2,000 years ago. This is before he was crucified by the Romans, whereby he died for the sins of others.

With Jesus’ death, any person who believes in him, and the sacrifice that he made on our behalf, is reconciled with God, and given eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

In other words, Jesus is the he in Genesis 3:15, the Messiah who restores what Adam and Eve lost when they sinned against God -- eternal life in a perfect world.

Later in the Bible, this idea that is introduced here in Genesis 3:15, that there would be a singular descendant of Eve, who would resolve the problem of sin, is revisited and further explained.

In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, for example, the prophet Isaiah goes into great detail about a servant of God (the Messiah) who would suffer and die for the sins of others. And, Daniel 9:24-27 provides a prophetic timetable as to when the Messiah would appear and be put to death. Also, the near-sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22:1-18, provides a precedent that helps to explain why God would allow his son, the Messiah, to be sacrificed for the sins of others.

* Note: Moses is not the giver of this prophecy but rather the one who recorded the prophecy when he wrote the book of Genesis. The prophecy was delivered by God during the time of Adam and Eve.

© Ray Konig.

Ray Konig is the author of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Miracle Worker, and 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies.