So far, this week’s story has been pretty sad. The story of Adam & Eve’s fall explains why the world is so messed up. Why our kids don’t listen. Why we consistently fail to meet expectations. Why disasters happen, cancer hurts, violence ensues and more.
But what about hope? I promised we’d find Jesus in each story. So far we’ve only seen an epic fail, not an epic story that culminates with Jesus. So, where is Jesus in this story?
When God comes looking for them, they hide, as if that’s possible and he finds them. I suppose he could put on his God X-ray goggles, but instead he goes walking in the garden, calling out to find them. He longs to know his children, and will do anything to get them back, by going to find them. This is what happened at Christmas in Jesus, born 2000 years ago.
That wasn’t all he did – like God coming to hang out with us. He wants to bring us back, to experience life with him, in his garden, with the tree of life, once again. First, he has to get rid of the snake and all he represents – evil, sin, death, Satan. And he already knows how he’ll do it. He tells the snake:
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
One day, one of their offspring was going to bruise, or by some interpretations, smash the head of this serpent, and all the snake would be able to get is a bite of the ankle.
The serpent picked on the first man and woman. Someday, their creator would come to this earth as a new man, and wouldn’t fight fair either. He would destroy this serpent.
Now remember, serpent represents evil himself – Satan, sin, death.
The destruction of these things is what happened on the cross. God already had it planned, even here when humanity first brought these into the world God created.
As soon as humanity fails, God has a plan to restore us. Right in the first three chapters of the Bible, are Christmas and Easter – God coming to find us, and then destroying what keeps us apart from him and from others. He came to resolve all those broken relationships we discussed: us and God, us and other humans, and the entire world around us.
Whatever brokenness you face – any of these, can be too big to handle. Thankfully, as soon as humanity fails, God has a plan to restore us, and so we don’t need to rely on our plans.
God has done something about it, and he invites us to trust him and his plan, so we can join him again in a new garden of Eden, the kingdom of heaven.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 ESV)
We can start practicing now. By healing relationships with forgiveness, wisely using our gifts for God’s work, and cultivating a relationship first with God to make that all possible.
Challenge: It’s a new year – resolve to mend your relationship with God, and to mend the other brokenness in your life. Make a list of broken relationships of all kinds, and try to trace them back to a broken relationship with God. Pray for God to mend your heart, and then your relationships.
Reminder: We are reading the Bible in sync as one community – so check out today’s reading at https://www.redeemthecommute.com/readingplan
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]