We are working to create a new, recurring class at Calvary. One that I hope many people will want to take advantage of. It is being designed for new Calvary members and old (old as in experienced :-)) Calvary members alike, as well as pretty much anyone who wants to know what Jesus and the Bible are really all about.
As part of this 5 week class I have been working to summarize the BIG STORY of the Bible. If we were to condense it all down, how would we explain it?
Ultimately, there are four great acts of the Bible:
Creation: Everything that exists, exists because of God. I has all been made by Him and for His glory. Creation is the work of His Word – the very Spirit and Breath of God forms and sustains all things. None more-so than humankind. We are made in His Image and Likeness, to care for the world and live in harmony, shalom, with one another, enjoying and responding to the presence of our Maker.
Fall: Sin has entered the world. It infests and corrupts all things. Adam and Eve rejected God’s will and God’s word. We call this “the fall” because it is not just their story, it is our story. We all, in pride, have chosen ourselves and our desires over God’s plan and God’s commands. We have taken matters into our own hands wishing for power and knowledge. This rebellion results in spiritual death, physical death, and the decay of all that exists.
Redemption: Yet as dark as the fall may be, God’s light is brighter still. God has not left us or abandoned His creation, but instead has chosen to redeem it. His Word and his promises come to humankind, first through the prophets of old and now through the sending of His Son. This is God’s master plan – grace is His response to our rebellion. Justice is still needed, but He has chosen to take it upon Himself, that one man might die for the people. And not just death, but new life as well. Jesus conquered all so that we might conquer all. The empty tomb is the great triumph of God’s story.
Restoration: The story does not end at redemption but slowly unfolds into the restoration of all things. First, it is our spiritual lives. We have been washed and made new, death has no power over us. Next, restoration begins to take hold in the world. God’s people, His Church, are sent into the world to bring hope and forgiveness, healing and shalom. And finally, eventually, all that is old will be made new again. God has great plans for a new heavens and a new earth, an eternal reality when we will dwell with him and darkness will be no more.
If this summary isn’t summarized enough, if you would rather have one point instead of four, then here it is:
In the end (and the beginning), the entire Bible points to Jesus. Every book and every page. He is the Hero, the White Knight, the Leading Man, and the only truly “Good” person of the story. More than that, he is God’s son, the very presence and being of God come down to live among us, in order that we might be saved. By being joined to him in His death and resurrection we are forgiven and made new. And that is the best part of God’s BIG STORY.