It’s snowing outside, almost two inches since it started 2 hours ago. Presents and stockings are history. Candles flicker on the mantel. The Christmas tree, perpetually lit at our house, glows in the semi-darkness. Nothing stirs outside. It’s quiet and we’re all still cozily in our jammies. I don’t think I’ll be going running today. Under that snow is ice. Yikes!
So I had a thought, which is why I’m blogging on Christmas. It’s because of Eve that we even have Christmas. Let me explain.
At the dawn of creation, Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. They were happily taking care of the garden, watering it and fertilizing it. They visited with the animals and got to know each other better, too. We don’t know exactly how much time elapsed between Genesis 1 and Genesis 3 . It could have been hundreds of years of tranquility. Enter the snake. The snake reminded them that they could not eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die’ ” (Gen. 2?16-17). The serpent questioned that command, twisted it (Gen. 3:1). His words seduced the woman, possibly coiling around the tree as he hissed: “You won’t die!…God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5). Eve was convinced. She took the apple first. She wanted the wisdom the fruit would give her (3:6). This point has been hammered home in numerous sermons I have heard over the years. “Eve was the gullible one, hence all women are gullible”. “Men, you need to be the spiritual leaders in your family.” “Adam should have said no and protected his wife and himself from sin.” Yeah, yeah. I don’t necessarily believe women are more impressionable than men are. I’ve known plenty of trusting men. What Eve did was wrong; what Adam did was wrong. The Scripture clearly says “Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too” (3:6). He was a witness to all that went on, though he said nothing.
If you continue to read through the Bible through the New Testament, you can see that God considered sin to have entered in through Adam, not Eve. I don’t want to go into a discourse about headship and spiritual authority, but clearly according to God, the blame for the apple ingestion rested on Adam. See Hosea 6:7: “But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust”, and Romans 5:12: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death..” There are many other verses saying essentially the same thing. What is not mentioned is the incredible influence a wife’s opinion can have on her husband’s point of view. Eve, trusting the serpent’s word over God’s, changed the course of human history.
But because Eve took and ate the apple, we need Jesus. She started a chain reaction that continues to this day: original sin.
So I think it’s sort of ironic that we have a day called Christmas Eve. She started it all. I Timothy 2:14 says: “And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result”. It does not seem to matter as much about the deception as the action, the disobedience itself.
Maybe, just maybe, having a Christmas Eve is God’s way of forgiving Eve. And Christmas is a beautiful holiday celebrating the birth of the savior of the world. In the ironic twist that does God justice, Jesus is descended from Adam’s lineage, fully God and fully man. Eve carried the seed of the Messiah inside her even then, before she ever committed the first sin. The Lord took something awful and made it amazing, joyful, spectacular. He redeemed us back to himself, using the very person who first betrayed him.
On this Christmas day, I consider the forgiving God who loves us all. His salvation and peace remain. “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David! … Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2: 12, 14).