Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Story

The Bible is just like its author in that there has never been a more controversial and influential book written in the history of mankind. Even within Christianity there are a lot of dissenting views concerning many things about the Bible. One leading reason that many people struggle with reading, studying, and seeing the Bible's prime place in their lives is because they fail to see it written with its original intent. So many have fractured the Scriptures so badly that they see it as simply a book of stories, examples, and rules.

Contrary to what many Christians have concluded, the Bible does not tell two stories - the story of Israel in the Old Testament and the story of the church in the New Testament. No, the Bible tells one story and points to one figure. It tells the story of how God rescues a broken world and points to Christ who accomplishes this rescue. God reveals himself through types, promises, and prophecies in the Old Testament while in the New Testament He comes down to His creation and joins humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of every type, every promise, and every prophecy. The Old Testament prefigures and directs us to God’s rescuer, the New Testament presents God’s rescuer. Therefore, the whole Bible (both the Old and New Testament) is all about God’s rescue plan of redemption, and God's rescuer – Jesus Christ.
Even though it's a children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible is one of the best resources available to help both children and adults see the singular, Jesus-centered storyline of the Bible. Sally Lloyd-Jones appropriately places (in an excellent way) the Bible in its proper context as the launching point of unpacking it.
She writes –

God wrote, "I love you" – he wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect him like a mirror – to show us what he is like. To help us know him, to make our hearts sing.

The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way a dolphin swims.

And God put it into words, too, and wrote it in a book called "the Bible."

Now some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have rules in it. They show you how life works best [or how it works at all]. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you'll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is – it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all these stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who one day…