The Storyline of the Scripture!
To know what the Gospel is all about and how it works, we need to know what the Gospel is here to resolve. This story then provides us a context to see why the Gospel is good News. Unless we understand this context (what makes the good news –good news) the Gospel would mean little to us. Thus scripture is best understood as a story. For Jesus has come as the thematic climax of this grand story: the story of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation/ New creation. This is what scripture narrates from the Torah to the prophets, from the prophets to the Psalms, to Jesus first coming and to his imminent return (Luke 24:25-27; 44-49). Jesus is the climax of the story, in which our redemptive stories happen and make sense!
It is a story of the one true God who created the heavens and earth and everything in it to reveal his own eternal glory. He created mankind in his own image to rule creation on his behalf by precisely submitting themselves under his sovereign rule.
This story however had a twist. An evil figure appears in the story changing the minds of the first humans to rebel against this holy creator, who pronounces judgment on all creation as His holy retribution.
Regardless, the story continues with a good news! The creator God didn’t abandon his humans whom He created in his own image and his creation. He gave a promise through which a seed of the woman would emerge as one who will ultimately reverse God’s judgment.
The story continues to progress in that now the creator God calls one man Abraham through whom this Creator God will bring to pass his promise for the whole world. This man is so blessed by the creator God that he became a great nation, Israel. This nation, of the line of the seed of the promise, finds themselves under an evil oppressor, who is identified with the serpent of the old, Pharaoh! He attempted to destroy the Seed and crawled on its belly to do the same thing he did in the garden with the first Humans! This evil was defeated by the creator God as he discloses himself to this Holy and unique nation. He delivers them through His might acts in Egypt and discloses Himself to them in the wilderness! They now know the personal name of this creator God, through His servant Moses. His name is Yahweh! “The I AM”. Israel receives his Self-disclosure in the form of the Law (Torah). Though Yahweh chose them to be His own covenant people, yet Israel rebelled against Him. They worshiped a calf, the created, than the blessed creator, Yahweh Elohim. They abandoned the Covenant. Even though He gave them a covenant of Kingdom though David, yet his descendants continued to rebel against Him. Yahweh abandoned them to exile, like He did to the first Humans out of the Garden. However the promise yet again began to work. Yahweh gives a new promise, a promise of a New Covenant!
Through this story emerges one Man, under the reign of King Herod, born under a virgin and under the Law. He is the son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of God. They named him Jesus, for He saves his people from their rebellion! Under Pontius Pilot, they crucified Him. Yet he died bearing the sins of his people in his body on the tree, carrying the curse of the first humans in the Garden. After they crucified Him and buried Him, Yahweh, His father, raised Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. The story now gets a new twist. This risen Jesus is Lord, now ruling from Heaven! His royal court is in the right hand of the most-high God, identified as the one who was with the one who judged the first humans.
He commands now everyone to repent and be saved before He returns to rule the whole world under iron-rod of his sovereign kingdom! For it is Yahweh’s, his father’s pleasure that all tongue confesses and every knee bows down to the power of his Son’s name for the glory of his own name. Now He awaits to return to judge the living and the dead, the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor, the kings and the slaves, Jews and Gentiles, men and women.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev 21: 5-8
Therefore the story of the Gospel presents the story of Creation, the Fall, the Promise of Redemption (Israel and Jesus), and the consummation (End). This is the story of the scripture, the story through which our redemption story emerges. This is the Story of the the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of the glory of the blessed God (2 Cor 4: 4-10)!