Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Ultimate Story

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

It is not uncommon for blockbuster movies to be followed by a sequel and even a “three-quel.” The film industry has discovered that film lovers like to revisit certain stories.  They want to know more about the characters and want to see what happens next.  George Lucas, years after completing his original Star Wars trilogy, took it one step further by producing three “prequels” to look at how the characters and story lines developed. Fans around the world were thrilled to learn more. Sometimes we may find ourselves focusing more attention on our own entertainment and amusement than getting to know God through His Son Jesus.

When it comes to the Lord Jesus we have the ultimate story - a real story - provided to us through the truth of The Bible, which can awaken us to the reality of God’s love and grace. The Bible gives us glimpses of who He is and what He has done. We can track through the Gospels and be amazed and thrilled at His insight and His character. If we follow Him to the end of each Gospel it should make us weep as He is beaten and crucified, as we realise the immense cost of our sin to our shame.
Then our spirits can soar with the news that He is risen and has returned to heaven, where He has prepared a place for those who  have trusted Him to be their Saviour.  What is  more,  He promises to come back for them, BUT the story does not end there.

We dive into the pages of the Acts of the Apostles exploring the action-packed sequel as we see the Holy Spirit equipping and energising Christ’s followers to turn the world upside down through the message of the Gospel. The pages resonate with the drama of characters who struggle, face incredible trials, and persevere because of their devotion to their compelling Saviour. We trace their stories through the epistles, BUT even that is not the whole story.

We could go back to the ultimate “prequel” - the Old Testament, where we see the vivid roots of our sin problem in Adam and Eve. Yet, even in the midst of that sin, the seeds of love and grace sown by the Great Creator God, grow and flourish through God’s promises to men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David. The drama heightens through the personification of God’s love relationship with His people Israel, who continually turn away from the only One who loves them completely. Through each page, we see the promise of Jesus as the hope of God’s people - prophesied and longed for, and pictured through the sacrifices prescribed in God’s law, BUT still, there is more to the story.

Paul’s prayer for God’s people was that all of his efforts on behalf of them would be focused toward one goal: helping them to know Jesus better. He reminds them - and us - that in Jesus are hidden “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” There will always be more to the story, and we should never tire of the characters.  Yet the ultimate story is in the unfolding drama of a Saviour who is so deep, loving and wonderful that we should never tire of getting to know Him.

Written by Peter Francis 

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