The whole story in a nutshell

In the beginning was God.  Genesis tells us that the time-less, transcendent God actually created time and the universe and declared it all ‘good!’  Then God as a plural three-in-one immaterial being chose to create humans in his image.  We actually see evidence of the 3 persons/ 1 essence God in Genesis.  God planned and through Jesus called forth the universe.  The Holy Spirit brooded over/ brought it forth step by step with divine power.  Moreover Jesus in his role as ‘incarnational’ God appeared to Abraham, Lot and Jacob as a material being.  Here was ‘a man-God’ who talked, ate, pleaded, slew and rescued.

Why did God create man?  God was perfectly happy as a community of 3.   But you know as well as I how much our joy is enhanced when we share it with others.  The triune God chose to bring man into being in order to create a community of image-bearers who would enjoy and glorify God forever.  A mutual, joy-enhancing community was planned.

However, once created man became more intrigued with creation, rather than the creator.  Our greatest tragedy and temporary woe is that we turned away from God, for whom we were designed.  We lost our way as we rebelled against our Father.

Thus the worst sin that we daily commit is turning our back on God and preferring lesser things.

But God planned for this.  He chose a particular group of people at a particular point in time and covenanted with them, setting up a system of law to protect them and teach them. He instituted a way to get right with God, each time his image-bearers stray.  Thus the Jewish sacrificial system was born.  Not a permanent fix, but a pointer to an ultimate once-and-for-all sacrifice at a future time.


  • the humble beginnings of their pagan ancestor Abraham,
  • through the historical and dramatic out-of-Egypt rescue by Moses,
  • on to the eventual entry into a promised land,
  • to the heights of a golden era of glory under Kings David and Solomon……….. marched the Jewish people
  • ……… into eventual but intentional rebellion.

Because of hardships orchestrated by God as punishment, they have looked longingly toward a future restoration when an anointed savior, the Messiah, would restore the golden age and they would again be on top of their game.

This hope for a messiah is based on prophetic promises, but their longing for restored glory has blinded the Jews to what the prophets actually taught.

God, through the prophets, has indeed assured us that His plan for a community/ family drawn from the world is still on track.  But it will require a once-for-all CEASEFIRE among rebel man.  The promises and sacrificial system were given to the Hebrews to point to this eventual need AND fulfillment.

There WILL BE an eventual righting of wrongs.  But it will be the righting of wrongs WE, God’s creation, have done to Him – the God, Father and Creator of all things.   God did first entrust to the Jews the scriptures and covenants for the training up and example to those who will be in his forever-family.  Furthermore, God through the prophets, also predicted a suffering servant who would absorb the payment for the continual sins of rebellion long after the temple was destroyed.

Jews, today, often explain that this suffering servant (see Isaiah 53) refers to the people called Israel and not to a single person.  But that doesn’t fit with the fact that ALL of us (Jews and Gentiles) are rebels against God. We all have gone astray and deserve death.  We all have failed to keep the covenant whether we are explicitly aware of it or not. We are in desperate need of saving.   

The animal sacrifices demanded by the Mosaic Covenant point to the horror of our rebellion.  Traitors to God, we deserve execution.  Animals dying for us are a concrete, child-like picture designed to be easily grasped, to teach us how wicked we are.

Just at the point of hopeless gloom and silence (no more prophetic announcements after Malachi in 420 BC until John the Baptist’s ministry around 32 AD) the good news to this ‘No Exit’ way of life appeared in the form of Jesus aka ‘God’.

Again, the Holy Trinity all along planned for this dénouement.  At a particular point in created time, God entered the world of men as a man himself.  In 3 hours on the cross, he paid for all sins ever committed past, present and future by being cut off from the perfect, holy God.  Our cosmic record was wiped clean.  But that’s not all!  For those invited into the family of God, we also have been given a perfect record of righteousness.  With our rebellion justly punished and without having to earn or achieve perfection, we ARE able to join the Holy Trinity as full family members.

In the beginning of time, God was.  God still is.  And this current earth is the stage where God’s family is being created.  This period of time is just the prologue to what will be a time-less (aka ‘eternal’) experience of mutual joy.  The best is yet to be.  Let us rejoice and be glad and share this true story with all we meet who will give us ear.