I’ve been talking a lot lately about how the whole Bible points to Jesus. It has completely reshaped the way I read Scripture. It is so beautiful to see redemption on every page and rejoice for the grace found there. The gospel is seen in the law, in wisdom, in narrative, even genealogies.
But it’s also found in the curse.
After the Fall, God cursed the serpent first, saying:
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
Before we were cursed (in verses 16-19), we were promised victory over Satan. The one who defeated humanity would be defeated by a human when God entered humanity.
This looks a lot like a gospel-centered principle for reading law: redemption precedes command. (Read more about redemption proceeding command on page 25 of Christ-Centered Bible Study.) But this isn’t a command, it’s a curse!
Redemption doesn’t just precede command.
Redemption precedes even the curse.
What’s different here is that, while the law was meant for our edification - to build us up, show us right behavior convict us of sin and show us our need for redemption – the curse isn’t good for us. But even in the midst of the curse, even before the curse, God had our redemption in mind.
What a loving God we serve!
I’m tempted to update Christ-Centered Bible Study with this. I’m held back because it seems that this is a “one-shot-deal.” This isn’t a terribly useful interpretive principle because it I don’t think it turns up over and over in the Bible.
What do you think: Is this another interpretive principle for Christocentric Bible reading? Do we see it happening over and over again? Or is this a unique event?
Let me know in the comments!