As I tell people all the time, one of the most important things you can do for your faith is have a big picture understanding of the Bible as a whole. Then, as you’re diving deeper, have a big picture understanding of each book in order to always bring it back to the full story that’s taking place. The story of God’s love for His people.
So today I’m going to explain the big picture story of the Bible in case you don’t know it or know how the Bible is laid out. In one sentence the main theme is that God created something beautiful, humanity chose to go against His plan and the rest of the story is about God chasing after His people, and we see a full restoration at the end. So, beautiful perfection, disobedience, restoration and perfection again. In the big picture story, we are currently heading towards perfect, that new creation where everything is restored.
But to start things off, in the beginning of the Bible we see that there is chaos all over the earth and out of that chaos God begins to create order through land and life. He creates an area called the Garden of Eden, which is a place of perfection. He was present and everything inside the Garden was performing at it’s original intent. God created man and woman named Adam and Eve and they were told to create a family and cultivate the land, expanding the Garden of Eden to bring order and beauty to more of the chaos that was going on outside of the garden. To essentially take it over with the intent of filling the entire earth with this garden in perfect relationship with God.
But one day a serpent came on the scene and convinced them to go against God’s plan. You see because God always gives us a choice to either obey His word or not. To choose good or evil. And Adam and Eve chose evil. They sinned. In Christianity, this timeframe is called the “Fall of Man” and that one decision changed the course of humanity because it now put a barrier between Man and God. As a response, God said that one day He would create a Son through Eve that would redeem all of humanity in the eyes of God.
Fast forward a little bit and we meet a man named Abraham. God said that through Abraham He was going to birth a new nation, God’s chosen people, covered in God’s blessings. And it was through his family that God was going to bring restoration to the world. As the family grows and grows they end up in slavery in Egypt and we learn of this whole story how God uses a man named Moses to set the people free from slavery through a bunch of miracles. The people wander through the desert for a while and God gives them what is called the Law. It’s basically a bunch of rules that they should follow in order to represent God well.
We see God’s people, the people of Israel, arrive to an area called the Promised Land, which was a land flowing with milk and honey - it was supposed to be amazing, but the people continued to disobey God and choose evil instead.
In the rest of the Old Testament, which is the first section of the Bible we see the storyline going up and down and up and down. The people choose good then evil then good then evil. It’s a pattern of them wanting to do things on their own instead of being told what is right. And they end up in exile again, but this time it’s under the new world power called Babylon. We’re then introduced to a bunch of prophets that speak to the people on behalf of God, saying that if they turn from evil he will deliver them through a Messiah, a Savior, but that person doesn’t show up right away. It was a while actually. God went silent for 400 years. It’s not that He wasn’t moving, He just wasn’t speaking to His people.
Enter the second section of the Bible called the New Testament, where we are introduced to a man named Jesus. And this is the Messiah, the Savior, the Chosen One that the people had been waiting for since the beginning of time. Jesus was there to redeem humanity. He was 100% man and 100% God. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and through a set of books called the Gospels, he teaches us how to bring the Kingdom of God into our every day life. The authorities didn’t like Jesus though and didn’t believe that He was truly the Son of God so they killed him. But little did they know that the shedding of His sinless blood was necessary in order to pay for all of our sins because on the cross he accepted the sins of all of humanity in order to cancel out our debt. So now, if we accept Jesus into our heart, when God the Father looks at you and me, He sees His Son Jesus, spotless and redeemed. Jesus then rose from the dead on the third day. Because of this, we can become new creations spiritually, which allows us to be transformed into the image of God, to be more like Jesus every day.
And the Bible ends with full restoration of the earth itself and all of the evil that we allowed to consume it will be destroyed.
So that’s the big picture story of the Bible. Once you know that story you are able to see how each story throughout the Bible plays into the big picture. And ultimately what part you have to play in it all.
Have the best week. Peace.