“The LORD… commanded…, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’”

Genesis 2:16-17

Most children’s books start with “Once upon a time…” to give some sense of where the story begins. “Marley was dead, to begin with” is a rather odd way for Dickens to begin A Christmas Carol. But the author must start with such a grim truth, so that when Marley came back to visit Scrooge, it would be understood that this was no ordinary visitor. Scrooge knew Marley was dead, yet somehow, he was there talking with him. As the story continues, Scrooge began to realize he himself was dead in his selfishness and greed. Scrooge needed real life.

Genesis may seem an odd place to start the Christmas story, but we need to realize the hopelessness of our sin nature. Going back to the beginning, the Author, God, shows us the truth of mankind, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus is no ordinary baby! God knows we’re dead in our sin. He sent Jesus to save us from it and bring us real life. His coming is foretold, His arrival is unconventional, and His life—given for us—is extraordinary.

Scripture Focus

Genesis 3:1-15


What is keeping you from experiencing “real life”? Look to Jesus and trust Him to change you.

Bible In A Year

  • Ezekiel 43-44
  • Proverbs 2
  • Philemon