Many people read the prophecies about Christ and link them to the Major or Minor Prophets and how they were only 100-1,000 years before Christ was born. However, the earliest prophecy about Jesus Christ came even before man was kicked out of the garden, about 4,000 years before He was even born.
Genesis 3:15 is the passage:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.
In this passage, spoken directly from God, God lays out a detailed message about the future Savior of the world, namely, that His heel would be bruised and He would crush Satan on the head.
Many people take this as a figurative terminology that means that Christ will deliver the fatal blow to Satan whereas Satan will only exceed in hurting Christ slightly. But, there is something wrong with this interpretation.
If we were to consider it figurative and thought that the crush on the head would be a great blow against Satan’s efforts then you would have to acknowledge that Satan has been hindering the work of Christ with his blow to the heel! This doesn’t make any sense, especially considering the information on the demon’s and Satan’s way of acquiring permission.
Satan does not and cannot hinder the work of Christ by his own powers; he must get permission for it. In the context of the Genesis verse it looks like God is giving Satan permission to do a one-time thing that would bruise Christ physically to his heel. So, with that outlook we have to wonder, when and how did it happen?
Did Satan set up a little sharp rock for Christ to step on while walking the dusty streets? Did he approach Christ in the desert and throw one of the stones, that he had demanded be turned into bread, at His heel? No, it wouldn’t have been something so subtle and without meaning. Instead, we find it somewhere much deeper; on the cross.
In Roman crucifixion the one being crucified was nailed with his hands above his head and his feet were nailed together at the bottom. Because of the position of the arms the one being crucified had to straighten out his knees and basically stand on his nailed feet in order to breathe. As can be imagined, this was extremely painful and was the thing that truly killed the crucified one (eventually they ran out of energy to take breaths).
You might have noticed it already but the fulfillment of the prophecy is found right in the above paragraph. When the crucified, in our case, Christ, had to breathe He had to lean against His heels (the only part of his feet that pressed against the cross) and press against them and straighten His legs. The weight and pressure against the heel caused the heel to bruise, though only one heel would bruise.
For me, this is almost a mocking fact against Satan. He was able to bruise the heel of the Messiah. The act that caused the bruising of the heel killed the Messiah. Without the death and resurrection of the Messiah people could not be saved. Satan, by bruising the Savior’s heel was working in God’s hand to save the world! Don’t you love it how God is in total control?
By giving Satan what he did not deserve (some sort of revenge), God was working through it to give us what we don’t deserve, Christ!