Finishing up with Genesis 3, let’s look at two more major issues:
1. The nature of the punishments of mankind:
A. The punishment of woman. This takes two aspects. The first is increased pain in childbearing. There’s more to this than just labor pains. It’s actually a reference to both labor and parenting. The punishment is that bringing children into the world will bring pain. I think the presence of death and the compounding of evil brings this pain. What do mothers fear most? Losing their children.
The second is the wreckage of smooth relationships between man and woman. That’s the essence of “your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” It is reflected any time a man attempts to rule or a woman attempts to control. It’s reflected when she nags or he avoids. This is a big part of our problem.
B. The punishment of man. Pointless work is what faces humanity after Genesis 3. The ground will not do like it ought. The earth does not function as it should.
Important to consider in all this: these punishments affect both genders. Fathers fear for their children, women work fruitless jobs, and relationships between men and women are a wreck in any culture. We tend to come to this passage to find gender issues or to lay blame. It’s not here to lay. We are responsible for ourselves and our actions.
2. The protoevangelium. What’s this big word about? It’s about Genesis 3:15. In this verse, the promise is made that the snake will be crushed, though the seed of woman will be stricken. This is commonly held as Messianic, a prophecy of the coming of Jesus. By his death, he was stricken, but in his resurrection he crushed the serpent. He destroyed the power of of Satan and took the punishment for sin upon himself.
And it’s right there. Genesis 3:15 gives a preview of the rest of the Bible, of the work that God will do.
There’s plenty more here, but I’d recommend you hit a book or two. I don’t want to bore you too much :)