What the Bible is All About: God as Pursuer
God created the whole world and humans in it in perfect relationship with Him. Adam and Eve walked and talked with Him, seeing Him face to face every day in the Garden. However, when they disobeyed God by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they broke that relationship between God and Humanity, sentencing themselves and all of creation to lives of pain, human injustice, and loneliness. In his mercy, God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden to keep them from eating the fruit from the tree of life, ensuring that they would not live on for eternity in this broken state. This gave mankind two alternatives after physical death: eternal life in perfect relationship with God in heaven for those who place their faith in the coming of the Rescuer, Christ, or eternal separation from God in hell for those who reject relationship with Him.
Due to the sinful lives we love, we are unable to restore our once perfect relationship with God, so He in His great love for us chose to reconcile himself to us. His plan took many centuries to unfold, but everything in the history of humanity has been a part of His design. He started by choosing certain people in a family line: Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob. From them God formed an entire nation of people that he would pursue in a unique way, making them an emblem to the rest of the world that He still loves His creation and wants to have a relationship once again.
Like any good love story, God rescues the Nation of Israel from their slavery in Egypt and takes them to a better home. To protect them, He gives them the Ten Commandments, which they break immediately by worshiping an idol of their own making. This sin foreshadows the oncoming pattern of mankind’s rebellion and our Creator’s patient pursuit of relationship with His creation. He gave the Israelites laws and a sacrificial system to remind them of their need for reconciliation and to help them have at least a minute understanding of the relationship they discarded and a desire for a more permanent solution.
The breaking of our relationship with God and the subsequent breaking of God’s laws requires justice. The severity of the offense dictates the severity of justice required. The death of the relationship between an entire race with their Maker requires death as a just retribution. The death of animals can merely shadow the necessary sacrifice and the death of one ordinary human being could not atone for anyone’s sins since he himself is riddled with sin. As the perfect solution to this need for justice, God sends His One and Only Son, Jesus, sinlessly human and entirely God, who willingly surrenders His life as the necessary payment for our great offenses. He bore the wrath of God that we deserve and died a brutal death on a cross to serve the justice for our sins so we could once again have a pure relationship with God. He laid in a grave for 3 days, but as a sign that God had accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf Jesus raised from the dead and was seen by 500 witnesses before he went to be with God the Father.
After centuries of believers looking forward in faith, believing that God would provide a way back into relationship with Him, Christians since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ now look back and enjoy their relationship with their Maker through faith that Jesus’ death did in fact fulfill the required justice for our sins. This faith produces in the Christian a desire to grow in knowledge of our God through study of the Bible, prayer, and living out the results of our relationship with God so that others may be drawn in faith to their Creator. We marvel at our ability to grow in relationship with Him, but one day, either at death or the end of time, we will be restored to our perfect relationship with God, once again walking and talking with Him, able to see His face and marvel at His Glory. We long for that day and together say, “Come Lord Quickly.”