Genesis 3:15b “He (Jesus, the seed of the woman) will crush your head, and you (the devil) will strike his heel.”
The devil is no one for you or me to trifle with. You know the story of Job. When God gave the devil permission, in a single day he was able to move two desert tribes to raid Job’s possessions and to send a fire storm and a windstorm to destroy his flocks and his family. Within a few hours tens of thousands of animals and dozens of people were gone.
More impressive still, when the only two people who lived on this planet were still pure and perfect, with no inner desire to sin, his temptations got them to fall. Alone against a hostile tempter, you and I would not stand a chance.
But one of our relatives had the power to crush him. It is worth noting that Jesus is described as the offspring of the woman. There is no mention of the man. Although this doesn’t explicitly teach the virgin birth, there are already hints of it in this very first gospel promise. As the human Son of Mary, but the divine Son of God, Jesus was fully prepared the win the battle our first parents had lost so quickly.
In doing so, Jesus crushes Satan’s head. John tells us in his first letter, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” During his forty days battling the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, Jesus successfully resisted every one. Just days before his trials and crucifixion Jesus predicted, “Now the prince of this world will be driven out.” On that cross, at his weakest, by his own death, Jesus finally crushed the all the devil’s power. He administered a death blow. That does not mean the devil just curls up and dies. But like a bad actor in a B movie, he dies a slow, dramatic death that spans the ages. During that time the power of the gospel is dismantling his kingdom person by person as it calls hearts to faith in God and frees them from Satan’s hold. In the end, Satan will be condemned and bound to hell eternally, crushed in utter defeat.
Yet you know that this did not take place without a dear price being extracted from our Savior. “You (Satan) will strike his heel.” The suffering Jesus endured to save us is astounding. Many people find it difficult to watch Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion because the violence Jesus suffers is so graphic. Still, Jesus’ spiritual suffering was far worse. He received the penalty for every sin of every sinner throughout time hanging on the cross. The devil’s dirty work required him to suffer agony we cannot imagine.
But a blow to the heel doesn’t kill the way a blow to the head does. Jesus lives while Satan goes down in defeat.