The holiday decorations are being put up. Candy canes appear at the grocery store checkout area. Most people enjoy the seasonal celebration, but there’s also a tension in the air.
Christian families want Christmas to be more spiritual, less commercial—more about Jesus and less about Santa. We also want to connect Christmas with the Bible. Sure, we read the “Christmas story” from the book of Luke, but there’s so much more to the story.
For Christians, the word “Advent” means the arrival of a notable person. And this arrival was actually foretold 6,000 years ago.
The Manger, the Cross, and the Garden of Eden
In Genesis 3:15, Advent was announced when God spoke these words to Adam and Eve:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.
Within hours of the fall of the first man and woman, the redemption plan was unveiled to all creation: the Seed would bring justice—through the family of Adam and Eve.
Have you ever considered that the “Christmas story” began in Chapter 3 of the first book in the Bible? It makes me wonder what happens to the Seed between Eden and the arrival in Bethlehem.
The Battle for Bethlehem
Genesis 3:15 is one of the most foundational verses in the Bible. In fact, it sets up the story of the entire Bible. Not only is there a promised Seed—this verse is also a declaration of war against our enemy.
When you understand the Seed, and the promise of His redemption, the battles of the Bible start to make sense.
Not far from Eden is a place called Babylon, where the enemy built a stronghold. After a failed tower experiment (Tower of Babel), God moves the Seed away from Babylon (actually nearby Ur) to a place called Canaan—the territory containing Bethlehem.
After a detour to Egypt and then a return back to Canaan, the Seed is exiled to Babylon again! That’s a problem, because the plan is to bring the Seed to Bethlehem.
64 Generations in the Genealogies
Many stories in the Bible depict this exciting journey of promised redemption. Since the Garden, forces of evil sought to threaten the Seed’s survival. But God always responds, sometimes with a climactic event, keeping the plan on course.
Eventually, sixty-three generations after Adam, this Seed arrives—Jesus in the form of a baby.
This is what Advent is all about: the ultimate arrival of the Seed in a town called Bethlehem.
When reading the Bible we often skip the genealogies. The names are long and hard to pronounce. But what if we saw the lineage of Jesus as an epic tale of survival, as a battle, and as a victory?
Over a period of roughly 4,000 years, the Seed of Adam finally appears to an expectant mother and father in a town called Bethlehem.
You and your family can follow this Advent Journey in December, and explore how 64 generations (64 families) prepared for the arrival of Jesus.
The Seed’s journey through 4,000 years of silent nights helps us make sense of the story, and appreciate the flow of the Bible, the Old Testament minutia, and the true story of Christmas.
Adults and children can realize how the manger in Bethlehem was not an isolated, feel-good Bible story, but a promise that’s been in process since the Garden of Eden.