In Chapter 1 we saw that God has a vision: to be with us. The community of God wants to extend their community to include us. The main character of the entire story is God, and the primary leading characters of Chapter 1 were Adam and Eve, two people God created in God's own image. The plot in Chapter 1 thickens pretty quickly. God has a vision to be with us, but Adam and Even choose a different vision. Sin entered into their nature, and that sin seperated them from God and caused them to be banished from the Garden and access to the Tree of Life.
We also learned in Chapter 1 that sin nature is transferred to their offspring, Cain and Abel, and to their offspring, so that every person in this room is conceived in the womb of their mother with the DNA of sin that seperates us from a living and holy God. This is fundamentally our biggest problem - not our relationships, not the economy, but the underlying issue for all of it is our sin.
We learned last week that the rest of the story of the Bible, as complicated as it may have been for you in the past, is really very simple: it's about God's relentless pursuit to get you and I back. We also learned that wiping out every person on the earth and starting over with the most righteous man didn't work. When Noah and his children stepped off the ark, they took with them the sin nature they brought onto the boat, and we saw it come to light just days after they got off the boat. We learned a clue last week that if there is going to be a restoration to our relationship with God, it will not be found in people. To summarize, God wants to be with us, and at the end of Chapter 1, God makes a promise that God will provide a way for us to come back.
In every chapter of The Story there are clues as to what God's grand plan is. Notice the parallel language between Genesis 22:2 and John 3:16 - "Take your son, your only son, whom you love, and sacrifice him" compared to "For God so loved the world that God gave God's one and only son."
Abraham ascends Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac. Most scholars believe that the hill of Moriah is most likely Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1). It is on the same hill 2080 years after this God's one and only son would be offered up as a sacrifice on a cross, on a hill, in the same place as Moriah. Except, on the day that God the Father's son was hanging on the cross and the knife was coming down, there was no ram in the thicket. Jesus was the only, the final, the ultimate sacrifice.
Director of Youth and Outreach at St. Paul's United Methodist Church AND a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, an aunt, a god-mother, a volunteer, a woman of faith, and one who chooses to live in joy and gratefulness... Here I write mostly about faith and life - and would love to hear your comments and stories, for I believe that is how we learn and grow together!