Someone once asked me to explain what life was about. Wow. What a question, huh? Then they dared me to explain it using only the bible. Uh oh…even tougher. So having read the bible, I decided to give it a shot. So here goes:
Starting at Genesis, God — who was the only being around at the time — decided to create some humans he could do some nice things for; he gave perfect health and a nice home; a paradise, then he pretty much gave them the run of the place. But to see how much they appreciated this gift, he denied them only one thing: a certain item in the middle of their neighborhood. Compared to everything already available to them, this denial wasn’t such a big deal, right? Unfortunately, those two humans didn’t appreciate all the other things — they had to have the the thing denied (#fail). Anyway, as a result they fell out of favor with God, but he still let them hang around, albeit with fewer privileges and some bad health problems; namely eventual death. What made them choose incorrectly? Well, there was this other person around too who wanted to see God’s creation fail; that one (we will call him the bad person) tempted them and they listened (#failagain). But God being the just person he is, he decided to wager with the bad person: he promised to give the bad person time to turn all the human couple’s future children away from God. If he was successful he won. if he was not, God won. Meaning humans would prefer to serve him out of love, not greed. So how did this wager turn out?
God first decided to send a few representatives to the offspring of his first family to let them know they need to avoid the same fate of their forefathers and to not listen to or follow the bad person. This went on for years, from Genesis all the way through Micah. None of those representatives were completely successful because most of the people refused to act right. The ones that did had a hard time carrying on the legacy but they persevered and God promised to bless them for it. How? He would send someone to buy back the perfect life that the first human lost — basically a ransom. That one would come to the neighborhood, live his whole life without messing up, and would earn the right to live forever, as was the plan for the original human. Why didn’t God do this himself? Well a company President doesn’t do all the dirty work, right? So because he loved his father, the son volunteered to go live with the humans and warn them about this wager, and urge them to get their lives together. In the meantime, the good family members had to remain faithful so God wouldn’t lose the challenge.
Well, by Matthew, it was time for this son to show up. Things had gotten pretty bad in the neighborhood. Few humans were even paying attention to God’s requirements so few listened to what the son had to say. Turns out the bad person had influenced even those who were supposed to be taking the lead in demonstrating faithfulness!
No matter, the son did his job, warning the good family members and also inviting others who were not part of the original family, so that they could also benefit.
Fast forward to today: are humans still involved in this challenge? Sure they are, and whatever choice they make will determine if they survive to see that former paradise or whether that bad person wins.
And THAT is what it’s all about.