Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. Many good stories have three major “acts” in the middle. Ours does too.
God created humans for the same reason humans bear children, make friends, or even own a pet–He desired to love and be loved. Before He made us, however, He knew that we would often disobey Him, so He developed a plan to enable us to be with Him again. You see, God is good. That means God is goodness itself, and evil cannot be in His presence. Humans do evil things because we are not perfect, so we cannot be in God’s presence. But let’s start at the beginning.
In the beginning, God created humans. He created a beautiful world in which we could live that was full of all good things. No evil was found there, and at first, even the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did no evil. God was in their presence because they were good. Sadly, humans are not perfect, and Adam and Eve were tempted by the Prince of evil himself–Satan. Now that humans were no longer pure, God could not be fully with them, so He had to put them out of His perfect garden. Herein begins Act One.
Act One: God Speaks to Fathers
Because of the humans’ evil deeds, God could not abide with us directly, so He would speak in special ways to the leaders of families in order to communicate His will and the way we could follow Him. Sometimes He spoke directly, sometimes he spoke through men called prophets, and sometimes He spoke in dreams and visions to those who desired to follow Him. Many followed God. Even more did not. At one point, the people of the world he created became so full of evil that He found it necessary to destroy the whole world. Yet, one man and his family were found to still follow God, so God commanded the man, Noah, to build a great ark. When the boat was completed, Noah, his family, and animals of every kind boarded. God caused water to burst out of the earth and the sky, flooding and destroying everyone and everything so that nothing remained. When the water receded, the passengers of God’s salvation were greeted by a new earth–a clean slate. God continued to speak to people, and a few still desired to listen. Eventually, a man named Abraham came along to whom God gave a great promise. He told Him that a great nation would come through his descendants and that all people could be saved. That promise begins to be carried out in Act Two.
Act Two: God Gives the Law
Abraham’s grandson Jacob had twelve sons whose descendants became the twelve tribes of the nation called Israel. This was to be God’s chosen nation to receive His law. Many years later, God called upon a man named Moses to deliver that law to His people. Moses went up onto a high mountain, spoke to God more directly than anyone had done since Adam and Eve, and received the law from God. God’s law gave hundreds of specific instructions on everything from how He wanted to be worshiped, to what kinds of food to eat, to how to offer sacrifices to atone for their sins. God’s rules about food, washing, and sickness were meant to keep his people safe, while his rules about sacrifices were meant to push back the judgment that He should rightfully have given the people. See, these people had a law given directly by God that told them how to do everything they needed to do to be good and please Him, but they still failed. They were evil. They sought their own desires over God’s. They thought they knew better than the All-Powerful Being who created them. This wouldn’t do. The people of Israel were never truly free of their evils; their atonement by sacrificing spotless lambs merely pushed back their deserved penalty. They needed something better. They needed a perfect sacrifice. God gave them one in Act Three.
Act Three: God Fulfills His Promise
In Act One, God spoke to humans almost directly. In Act Two, He gave His chosen nation a very specific law to follow. None of this was enough. None of it was enough to bridge the gap of evil separating God and humans, so it came time for God to fulfill the promise He gave to Abraham at the end of Act One–a plan that he had formed before he even created the world: a plan to save His people. He sent His Son. Jesus was miraculously born of a young virgin woman named Mary. Jesus was God, but he lived just like any other man. He grew, learned, worshiped His Father, and followed the law God gave. There was something special about Jesus, however. Jesus never did anything evil. He was tempted, yes. He endured everything anyone else had to endure, yet He did not succumb to evil like everyone else does. He was the truly spotless lamb. That is why God sent Him: He was to be the one sacrifice to finally atone for everyone’s sins–forever. And He did it. He was tortured, beaten, and hung on a cross to die, and as He died, He represented the sins of everyone who has ever lived or ever will live. Then He took those sins to the grave with Him. They are buried. They are washed away in the blood of His sacrifice. Now that sacrifice was already more than we deserve, but there was still the problem of death. So, God did the most amazing thing. He raised His Son from the dead. Jesus walked again, made new. Shortly after, Jesus went to be with God. In rising from the dead, death was defeated. Satan was defeated; he can no longer keep anyone dead, because now we have a way to live again after we die. God told us that now, we can do what Jesus did. First, we die to our evil selves just as God destroyed the evil people of the world in the great flood. Then, we are buried in an immersion of water that washes away that evil as the waters of the flood when they immersed the earth. Finally, we are raised to walk in a new, spiritual life like Noah and his family who stepped out of that saving vessel onto a new earth. Now, as long as we strive to follow God, the blood of Jesus will keep washing away the evil things we do. And because there is still evil in this world keeping God at a distance, He sent His Spirit to help us through our temptations and struggles until Jesus comes again. When He comes, that will be our ending.
When Jesus returns, our story will come to a close. When He comes, everyone living or dead who truly followed Him will be raised into new life and will be given new, perfect spiritual bodies that are free of evil. Without the presence of evil in us, we will be able to be with our loving Father who made us, loved us, and saved us. And we will be with Him forever. We will never be tempted again. We will never die again. We will never worry, cry, hurt, or experience evil again. Our story will end just like it began: totally in God’s presence. Ω
Because this is meant to be an overview of the Biblical story, specific scripture references have been omitted. For more information or questions regarding the truth of the subjects discussed, please do not hesitate to reach out to the author for any clarification needed.
Also, if you or someone you know have been questioning or thinking about such things and would like someone to talk to and work out questions, please reach out. I’ll do all I can to help.