We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘Seed’, which is used to refer to the second person of the trinity.
The Apostle Paul refers to Jesus Christ as the Seed in his letter to the churches of Galatia: ‘The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator’ (Galatians 3:16-19).
Paul is referring to the promises given to Abraham in the Old Testament. For example, in Genesis we read: ‘The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you”’ (Genesis 13:14-17).
The Hebrew word ‘seed’ or ‘offspring’ can be used in a plural sense, but Paul wants to show that deep down it is only one person who truly inherits God’s promises: God’s Son. Jesus then shares the promises with the rest of his body, the church.
Not only is Jesus the ‘Seed of Abraham’ and a fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham, Jesus is also the ‘Seed of the Woman’ and fulfils the promise made to Satan in the Garden of Eden. After Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said to him: ‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel’ (Genesis 3:15).
God was promising that one day a descendant of Eve would deal a death blow to Satan (the same Hebrew word translated ‘offspring’ is used in Genesis 3:15 as in Genesis 13:15). Yet, the blow to Satan’s head would come at a cost: Eve’s seed would be injured in the conflict.
The words to Satan were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross. Satan was dealt a fatal blow and the seed of the woman was struck as well. Yet, Jesus didn’t stay dead. He paid for sin and then rose again with new life.
So Jesus is like a plant seed that dies and then produces life as it grows up into a large fruit bearing plant. Jesus gives this farming illustration about himself in John’s Gospel: ‘I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’ (John 12:24).
So have you trusted in Christ and inherited the promises of God through him? Or are you not a part of the ‘Seed’? Joel Radford