January 11, 2023

The Double Victory of the Cross

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Then the Lord God said to the serpent because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:14-15

Jesus Christ died by being nailed to a cross. But did you realize that not just one, but two, were put to death by that crucifixion?

There are many images of the crucifixion of Jesus, but this one is unusual. In his piece called, Genesis 3:15, artist Chris Powers shows not just one, but two, nailed to the cross that Jesus died on. (You can see the image on his website, www.fullofeyes.com)

Powers depicts a giant serpent coiled around a wooden beam. The lower half of a man’s body is suspended on the beam and the snake’s mouth is latched onto the man’s feet. But into the feet, on through the serpent’s head and clean through to the other side of the cross, a giant spike brings an end to the serpent’s life. We can imagine him held there, writhing and hissing in defeated rage until his finally lifeless body is thrown aside.

Powers’ image illustrates Genesis 3:15 where, speaking of Jesus to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, God says, “He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.”

Satan was defeated on the cross of Jesus. He knows that and we need to remember it. Today, though we still live with the final effects of that serpent’s wildly thrashing tail in the world, he is finished, and he knows it. More than once, we’re told in scripture to “stand firm” against evil oppression–knowing that evil has been ultimately defeated means that we have hope.

When you’re struggling with wreckage from the final lashes of that dead serpent’s tail, remember Jesus’s last words: “It is finished” (John 19:30) and “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5).