The Bible is a loooooooong book. The length in and of itself has discouraged many from reading it, let alone studying and applying it. Enter The Bible Project: An organization that strives to elevate biblical literacy within the church. One of their recent videos provides a visual snapshot of the entire Bible, illustrating the central themes nestled throughout all of Scripture.
The Bible is a collection of books written over a long period of time, but don’t forget that all these collected books actually tell one big story. The Bible begins with the grand author Himself creating beauty out of dark chaos and within that beauty creating a man and woman in His own image. This man and woman had purpose, which was to cultivate and steward God’s creation. Eventually, this man and woman were faced with a choice of trusting God’s wisdom and goodness in this endeavor or acting independently from God and finding meaning within themselves. Horribly, they chose the latter and death entered into this world. This deathly choice created strife within relationships and fractured all human cultures.
One of those human cultures was the ancient city of Babylon, which also symbolized human rebellion against God. But God in his goodness pursued his people by raising up another couple by the name of Abraham and Sarah who produced descendants that would eventually number as the stars in the sky and that would make the right choice by showing love, honor, and allegiance to God. This did not happen as generation after generation continued to fall into the same demonic choices of thinking and acting outside of God’s wisdom and love. Time and time again God sent people called prophets to warn them of judgment if they didn’t turn back to Him. As part of their message, the prophets predicted that a leader one day would come who would not only cover their rebellion but also transform them to do what is right.
That person was Jesus, who came to fulfill all the promises of God and confront the very evil that plunged humanity into all this sinful mess. It is through Jesus that we can learn about God’s definition of good and evil and that real power is in serving others. Jesus came as fully God and fully human to be for Israel, and for all of us, what we could never be for ourselves. His death on a cross and resurrection from the grave absorbed the wrath we deserve because of our sin and provided perfect righteousness to replace that sin. This amazing transaction of grace produces a new humanity that is empowered by God’s Spirit to produce cultures that reflect the goodness and graciousness of God. The ripple effects of Christ’s victory over sin and death continue to this day and will one day culminate with Jesus coming back to create a glorious new world that is only populated by His children and the complete eradication of sin and death.