The Bible is first and foremost a story. From beginning to end, the sixty-six books that make up the Old and New Testament tell one story. A story of relationship and pursuit. This narrative begins with a loving God in unity with His creation and that unity was reflected in the unashamed intimacy of the first husband and wife. The narrative ends with that same intimacy and unity restored between God and His creation and among mankind as well. It is the middle of the story, the largest portion of the story, from which comes the good news known as the “gospel”.
God’s original intent with His human creations was to partner with them to tend and protect the created world. Even though the first man and woman had been given everything for a full life, there was a desire to usurp the position and authority of God and put themselves in His place. This pride and self-interest manifested itself in disobedience to the will of God. From that moment on, mankind knew division with God and the worship of false gods. That brokenness transitioned through each successive generation so that all of the human race was divided and alone. Including our own generation. Without intimate communion with our Creator God and His people we live a life of brokenness and pain.
It is among this dark background that a storyline of hope is threaded throughout the whole sordid tale. But you must look closely. It is the storyline of a sinless, loving, selfless, King. One who would restore the partnership between God and man to tend the world that had been given to us. One who would pay the price of justice in our place to satisfy the required penalty for our chosen division. One that would reconcile us to God and to one another so that we could again be fully known and yet fully unashamed. Every detail of the Bible story, every prophet that was sent, speaks of this man that would be named Jesus.
In His sinless life and brutal death, Jesus took on the brokenness we have chosen and paid the ultimate price, division from God the Father Himself, on our behalf. Then, in His glorious resurrection three days later, He proved to all of humanity that He had been victorious. Sin and death, separation itself, no longer reigned in this world.
Our response to the action God took on our behalf is to entrust our lives to God’s plan and accept the grace of the Father so that we enter back into relationship with Him. From that point on, we are in Christ. We cannot earn God’s love by our actions. It is only available by His grace. As we grow in our relationship with God and obedience to His heart of love, His grace assures us, through the love we have for God and our love for one another, that we have obtained eternal life and are now part of His family. We can now move forward in firm knowledge of this love and acceptance to proclaim with our lives and voices that this same opportunity, relationship with God, is available to anyone that desires it. His Kingdom has been inaugurated and will be complete in its arrival with His soon return. In the meantime, His people carry out that rule of love and justice in our covenantal relationships with one another and our outreach to the world around us. This is the good news of our peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.