Up to now in our study of Noah, I’d have to use the same statement I’ve made every week in this series – this seems more like an epic fail than an epic story of God. In this story, humans mess up so badly, God has to reset the world through violence and destruction, and start over with one man.
Would it be different? How? Well there was a big clue, and it’s in how this story points to Jesus.
The rainbow is what God introduces into our world as a sign of his covenant – his promise to never destroy the world again, even if we don’t keep up our end of the deal. It’s not just a colourful symbol, it’s literally a bow, a weapon laid down never to be used again against us. But it will be used against someone else. The bow points up to heaven now.
He knows, we will let him down.
He will reset us again. It will take violence and death.
But the arrow won’t fly into our world to cause our death, it will fly into heaven, and cause his death.
God came to earth as Jesus Christ, and died a violent death for the sins of everyone else but him.
In him, God started over again with one man. He was a new Noah, and a new Adam. Adam and Noah both failed, they were far from perfect!
Adam, after being given the amazing gift of life, found his place in the world wasn’t enough, and tried to usurp God. Noah, after being given the amazing gift of salvation from the flood, turned to alcohol and adultery with his son’s wife.
In this story we find God both looking backwards and forwards.
God looks backwards, and says that what humanity has done to this world has real consequences. It has destroyed the integrity of this world, and introduced death and destruction into the world.
That’s the natural consequence, for all of humanity for the entire world. And yet, God doesn’t go through with it 100%. He saves one man, his family, and two of each species of animal.
He looks ahead, preparing the world for his ultimate solution…when he will truly reset the world…and the biggest problem facing us – sin and death itself. It will again cost human life, but only one this time – Jesus of Nazareth. The man who came from heaven – God himself in human flesh – will die.
Our sin and rebellion against God no longer necessarily leads to our eternal and final death, just in order to save one. Now one death saves the lives of everyone else. All who recognize their sin and death are overwhelming, and turn to God to save them, can rely on Jesus’ death to deal with sin, rather than their own.
The way people signify this is with baptism – being washed of their sin – like the world was washed of its sin ultimately by Jesus, foreshadowed by the waters of the flood washing the entire world of its sin.
Challenge: If you’ve never been baptized, contact me. Help you connect with a good church where you are, or if you’re local, help you join a Christianity 101 course and be baptized as part of our church in Ajax.
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- Are you meeting just once a week with your discussion group? You can find all of this week’s discussion material in our Weekly Study Guide