Yesterday we looked at the power of stories. We reflected on the fact that God is the greatest Storyteller, and He is telling one great story. Today we’ll discover that, just like the people whose stories fill the pages of Scripture, our stories also reflect and tie into the story He’s telling. Let’s take a look.
The Bible opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Before everything else began, God was there. He called the physical world into existence. We watch the Lord bring forth different aspects of creation, all with one thing in common—they are good. As He made light, He called it good. The plants, stars, and animals were good. Finally, God made humankind in His own image, giving them responsibility over the earth. At the end of the God’s creative act, we read, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
A few short chapters later, we read about a dramatic turn of events. God had given the man and the woman one restriction—to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). If they did so, they would die. At that point, death did not exist, but God gave them a warning.
Soon, the woman was tempted by a serpent. Both she and her husband ate from the tree. And “the eyes of both were opened” (Genesis 3:7). In an instant, they knew they had made a terrible mistake. Because of their sin, death now came into the world and God’s beautiful, good creation was marred.
God didn’t abandon His creation or humanity. Even in Genesis 3, God said to the serpent:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (v. 15)
God said One was coming who would set things right; One who would crush the serpent and, ultimately, death. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, God sent prophets to tell His people that He would send One who would bring salvation from sin and its terrible consequences.
When we get to the New Testament, we meet this One. Jesus fulfilled everything God said about the One who would come. When He died on the cross, Christ took on the death that all of humanity deserved for sin.
When Jesus arose and walked out of the tomb, it signaled the beginning of a new chapter—the restoration of God’s world. Jesus promised, “Behold, I am making all things new,” including the heavens and the earth (Revelation 21:5). We get glimpses of what His restored world will look like; but without a doubt, we know one thing—it will be good again. Jesus’ death and resurrection fixed everything sin broke. But we live in a time before everything will be fully restored. Even so, we get to see glimpses of the good world to come
We’ve just rushed through the very broadest strokes of the picture God has been painting throughout history. Our stories are not only individual chapters within the great story; they also reflect these four themes. Creation: God has created you as a one-of-a-kind person, in a unique place and time in history. Fall: like the rest of humanity, you have fallen. You’ve sinned both against God and others. You’ve been hurt by the sin of others and felt the effects of living in a fallen world. Redemption: at some point, you came to know Jesus. When you came to understand the gospel and placed your faith in Christ, a shift occurred. He took on the consequences for your sin and you received His righteousness. Now, God no longer sees you as guilty of sin. Restoration: after you placed your faith in Christ, God began the process of restoring you to who He also intended you to be. We won’t finish being restored in this life, but we find ourselves growing more and more like Christ. Ultimately, God will completely restore us.
As we move through the next few weeks, keep these four themes in mind. We’ll see them reflected in the lives of Moses and Paul. And we’ll return to them again when it’s time to write out our stories.
Have you ever thought of your story in light of the greater story of Scripture? How does it line up?
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