Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Beyond the Walls is a weekly email to help Christ followers move beyond the walls of their church buildings, homes, comfort zones, and culture to engage those we live among with the Gospel.
As I stated a few weeks back, we all love a good story. We especially love stories about rescue and deliverance. In the Gospel Story, we encounter the greatest story of rescue and deliverance ever recorded…the Story of rescue from sin and death into life and hope.
Last week, we talked about the Fall, that moment when Adam and Eve rebelled against God which opened the door for sin and Satan’s rule to come in and begin corrupting mankind and all of creation. Because of that one decision – the decision to choose their way over God’s way – Satan’s lie over God’s truth – everything began to unravel.
And they knew it immediately. All of a sudden, peace and harmony was replaced with fear and guilt. Their sense of wholeness was shattered. And then they heard the steps of God walking in the Garden, a sound that the day before would have thrilled their souls and caused them to run into His arms. But not now. Now those steps frightened them and instead of running to Him, they ran to hide from Him.
But it is in His coming into the Garden, asking Adam, “Where are you?”, that we see the first step taken toward rescuing them.
He entered the Garden to seek and to save what was lost. In Genesis 3:14-19, God outlines for them the consequences of their sin. And in the words He spoke to the serpent, we see the first glimpse of a coming Savior who would one day appear and crush Satan’s head.
And then in verse 21, we read, “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Don’t miss the significance of this verse. In order for God to clothe them with the skins of an animal, God had to sacrifice an innocent animal, shedding its blood.
Someone or something had to die for their sin…to pay the price for their rebellion against God.
It is in this act of sacrifice, the innocent dying for the guilty, that God paints for us the picture of what would ultimately take place on the cross thousands of years later as the Lamb of God, the very Son of God, dies in our place so as to take away our sins and reconcile us to the Father.
For centuries to come, following this promise of a coming Savior, God would continue pointing them to that day when the Messiah would come to save them from their sins. Through the prophets of the Old Testament, over 300 promises were written down, providing exact details of His birth, His life, His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
And then it happened. As Paul would later write in the book of Galatians, chapter 4, verses 4-5,
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."
He lived a perfect life in full submission to God, a life without sin. And then He willingly went to the cross and died an agonizing death to pay for our sin.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul stated it this way:
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
And then they buried Him. And for three days, His body lay in that tomb but then on the morning of the third day, the grave could no longer hold Him. Jesus victoriously came out of the tomb! On the cross, He had defeated sin. And now through His resurrection, He defeated death.
He rescued us! Through His death and resurrection, the power and penalty of sin were broken. Death was defeated.
And when a person comes to that place where they realize they can never rescue themselves from the consequences of sin (eternal separation from God) and they trust in Jesus alone to rescue them from sin and death, they are forever forgiven and set free to know and walk with the very One who created them…God Himself…the Author of the Story.
That’s the Good News. But it’s not the end of the Story. If you think the Rescue was amazing, what God has in store for all of us who have trusted in His Son will make you shout!
With that said, join us next week as we look at the climactic ending of The Gospel Story which in all reality is a climatic beginning.
For the Fame of His Name!
The Rooftop US