Over the past few months we have been walking through the Bible – Genesis to Revelations – looking at the grand story of God and how our lives fit into His story.
Today marks a radical shift in this story for as we celebrate the birth for Jesus – the invasion of God into Present Evil Age. Life – human history – would never be the same after that first Christmas. The story of God had reached its climax…
But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Before we can fully understand the significance of Christmas we must look at how the birth of Jesus fits within the grand story of God.
Lost Shakespeare Play
The story of God is best told as a five part act – all pointing forwarding and connected with each other. It is like a discovering a lost Shakespeare play– it is wonderful, full of drama, passion and amazing insight into the human soul – this play is destined to be a classic on par with Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. There is only one problem… the last act is missing…
So what do you do? You pull together the best Shakespearean actors and actress on the planet – the ones that know all of Shakespeare’s other plays – you give them all the acts that you have – the first four acts – you have them study them, to enter into the story – to learn and know the characters in the play – then you put on the play with the actors living out the last act within the theme and direction of the first four acts.
This is us – we are in the fifth act of God’s story.
Review the Grand Story
Act 1: God is King
o Scene 1a: Creation (Genesis 1)
– Who created the heavens and the earth?
– Was it formed by multiple gods? Or by accident?
– Science cannot answer the question of WHO. It only seeks to answer the question of HOW.
– Two different questions….
– If we are to enter into the Story of God, we need to enter into the WHO – join with Him, the one who made everything by simply speaking. Science does not need to scare us or frighten us as we know the One who started everything and created the laws of nature that science studies.
o Scene 1b: Made in the Image of God (Genesis 2)
– Humanity was not an accident
– Humanity was not made to serve the gods
– We were made to walk with God – the spread the news of Him throughout the world
Act 2: The Struggle of Kingship
o Scene 1: Leaving The Garden (Genesis 3)
– Not a choice been ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – but the knowledge of good and evil
– Are we going to try to be our own boss? Determining what is right and wrong?
– Or are we going to let God walk us through the minefield of life?
– Adam and Eve decided to walk alone…
– Yet God did not abandon them –
– He made them some clothes and continued to talked to them
– Yes it looked different as sin and death had taken control
– But it didn’t take God be surprise nor did He give up on humanity
– Genesis 3:15 – the Messiah would be a descendant of Eve and would crush the snake (sin and death)
o Scene 2: Struggle with Kingship (Genesis 4-11)
– Right after they left the garden, the question remained – who would humanity follow?
– Cain and Abel – who would revenge Abel’s death? The family? Community or God?
– Noah – God’s judgment over sin as they were not walking with Him
– Wanted humanity to work with Him..
– Warriors bow
– The wars is over
– covenant of peace and reconciliation between God and creation
Act 3: A Kingdom of Priests
o Scene 1: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12-50)
– chosen for a purpose
– Others out there who were following God
– Genesis 12:3;18:18 – The Messiah would come from this line
o Scene 2 & 3: Journey to Promised Land (Exodus-Deuteronomy)
– God took this family to Egypt for 400 years while He worked with the people of Canaan
– Became slaves
– Saved by the hand of God
– Set up the guidelines for a new nation
– Leviticus 26:11-12 “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
– Deut 18:15-19 – There is coming one who would be like Moses, bring you out of slavery into freedom
o Scene 4-7: Nation of Israel (Joshua-Chronicles, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah)
– God gave them a land in the middle of a trade route
– Israel was supposed to be a light into the world telling everyone that God was there and wanted to walk with them.
– The kings turned away
– Prophecies gave them hope
– Isaiah 7:14 – born of a virgin
– Isaiah 35:5-6 – the Messiah would make the blind see and the deaf hear, etc
o Scene 8: The Exile and Return (Ezekiel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel)
– After hundreds of years of rebellion , God brings out the paddle
– God was trying get them to stop trying to do everything their selves and follow Him
– Stop worshiping false God
– Daniel 9:25-26 – The Messiah is coming, watch out… get ready
– Micah 5:2 – Born in Bethlehem
– Isaiah 55:3-5 and Jeremiah 31:31-34 – the Messiah is part of a new and everlasting covenant
o Scene 9: The Intertestamental Period (Between Malachi and Matthew)
– Israel did stop chasing after idols…
– Went too far the other way…
– Became isolated and forgot that they were saved in order to love others
– They were waiting for the Day of the Lord when God would step in and redeem them
– Waiting for the day when evil would be destroyed
Act 4: Jesus: The King in Flesh
o Scene 1: The Invasion of God/Birth of Jesus (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2)
• The people waited…
• Then one day a young gal of 13 or 16 was visited by an angel,
o Luke 1:28-38
• Mary’s Song?
o Luke 1:46-55
– God was here!
– He was going to walk among His people
– The Hope had become a reality