The Bible is a large book, and it can be very intimidating. I have some very good news for you, though. Today I’m going to show you that–from beginning to end–the Bible is one fascinating and continuous story. Once we discover the big story line of the Bible, we will find it to be exciting and much easier to understand.
Knowing the interconnected story of the Bible answers the question, “What is it all about?”
Let’s look first at how the story begins.
In the opening act of this grand drama, we learn that God created the universe, including the earth and everything in it. He gave life to all the plants and animals. Then He created Adam and Eve and appointed them to rule over everything that He had made. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth… God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26, 28 also see Psalm 8:6-8).
God planned that these new humans would rule over His new and perfect creation. The only thing that God asked for in return was that they obey His one simple request. God pointed out one fruit tree and told the humans not to eat from it. Their obedience would show that they were ruling creation under God’s ultimate authority.
What happened next robbed Adam and Eve of their right to rule God’s creation. They decided to obey God’s enemy instead of obeying God. They sinned by believing Satan’s lies and doubting God’s goodness. Read Genesis 3:1-6.
There is no denying how their decision affects all of us today. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
That ends act one of this timeless drama.
Next, we see a change of world rulers. When sin entered our world, it opened the door for Satan to move it and act as if he were the new ruler of God’s creation. Jesus called Satan, “… the ruler of this world….” (John 12:31). Paul called Satan “… the god of this world….” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Apostle John said that “… the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
Learning who is actively in charge of this world explains a lot of the brokenness we see around us now, doesn’t it?
The next important part of this drama begins when Jesus steps onto the world stage.
When Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, they failed. Yet when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He succeeded. You can read the story in Matthew 4:1-11.
The Bible calls Jesus the second or last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). The first Adam plunged the world into sin. Jesus, the second Adam, paved the way for sin and its consequences to be defeated. “So then as through one transgression [Adam’s sin] there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [Christ’s death] there resulted justification of life to all men” (Romans 5:18).
When a person turns from sin and trusts in Jesus’ victory over that sin, he or she gains “… peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). That peace and forgiveness will last for all eternity.
There remains one last, glorious act that is still in the future. “He who overcomes [by putting their faith in Jesus, see 1 John 5:4-5], I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
The Lord has prepared a great celebration at the end of the age, and everyone who puts their trust in Jesus is invited. “…Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb…” (Revelation 19:9).
Jesus also made it possible for us to be restored as the rightful rulers of His creation!
Christ’s followers will “… be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
The big story of the Bible is about God’s perfect creation being ruined, redeemed, and then eventually restored to even more glory than what it had originally.
Where are you in this story? Our world’s story began with a loving, powerful Creator who made us to have a close relationship with Himself. God’s evil enemy tricked the first humans into following him instead. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to allow us to regain our relationship with Him. Now our world is divided. Some people are deceived and are ignorantly following Satan. They are troubled, tormented, and purposeless. Some, however, are following Jesus. They are comforted by God’s Spirit and are letting His power lead them back to the relationship with God that humanity enjoyed at the beginning.
Think about the Bible’s grand story. Which of the rulers in the drama are you following?