Surrounded by a sea of people, I close my eyes and listen: voices rumbling; feet patting, skidding, clicking; bursts of chuckles and snorts; sneezes shooting; people embracing. Now in the quiet I hear but more: the lub-dub of the heart and the air from a breath. Oh, but the sounds that fill the skies outdoors, like the chirp of a bird, the rustle of leaves, the whoosh of the wind, the splatters of the rain.
With my eyes open, l see it all clearly. I stand in a wonderful, peculiar world. One cannot help but ponder: What is this world in which we live? This body in which I reside? Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do claim to have the truth, the truth that leads to understanding and meaning and life.
There is a main Character I have yet to introduce. He goes by many Names – Yahweh, Immanuel, I Am, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, the Everlasting One, Creator, Sustainer, Love, God. He is not like humans, nor does He live on this earth. His home is in Heaven where He sits on a throne surrounded by heavenly angels praising His Name in a place of perfection. He has always been and will always be; He is holy; He is all-knowing and all-powerful.
As I said before, God is worshiped by angels; but He had a plan for so much more. The Almighty King wanted to let His glory be known, and He wanted the honor that His Name greatly deserves. Therefore, He created all that is in existence – the planets, the stars, the ocean, the trees, animals, emotions, thoughts – everything visible and invisible, He spoke, and it was. Then, for the crown of His creation, He scooped up some dirt from the beautiful earth which he made, and He breathed His breath of life to form a man who He named Adam. “It is not good for man to be alone” He claimed; so, a woman, Eve, He made from the rib of Adam as a helper and friend. Adam and Eve were made in the very image of the God Who created them, as are all the humans that followed them. The two were entrusted with the Garden of Eden and the responsibility to care for God’s perfect creation.
From this miraculous beginning, God has continued to mold human beings inside their mothers’ wombs. But what purpose do we serve to such a magnificent Being? Solely to worship Him and carry out, as His messengers, the Truth which is Him. Why, then, is this the pursuit of so few people? To answer that, we must return to the Garden.
Mankind is far different from the angels because unlike those heavenly creatures, man has been given the ability of free will which allows us to choose whether or not to worship our Creator. The first of our kind were given all they could see, with one exception: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From this they were commanded not to eat; but, ah, the fruit was so appealing to the eye.
There is an enemy; his name is Satan, Lucifer, the Prince of Lies. He was once an exalted angel, but his pride caused him to be thrown into a place called Hell where he and his followers would forever abide. Satan knew what the knowledge from the tree could do for man; so he used a serpent to deceive the humans and cause man to disobey, for the first time, their Lord. With that one action, evil entered the sacred world and spread its venom to every part from that point forth. Now, instead of walking in unity with our God, we are separated by the large chasm of sin between us on earth and our Father in Heaven.
Sin has infected us all, doomed us for Hell to suffer for all eternity apart from the one true God. The crown of creation lay broken in the wreckage of sin. What is the point? Why would He leave us? What happened to His ‘perfect’ plan? Oh, but wait, for He hasn’t abandoned us. His love abounds so ferociously that He, Himself, built a bridge to close that gap.
Yahweh is the Triune God, one God with three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Beyond our comprehension, yes; but the Lord over the entire physical and spiritual world should be expected to surpass the minds of those below Him. The Son, Jesus Christ, was sent to this earth by the Father in the humble package of an infant: fully human, yet fully God. Christ walked these grounds for 33 years without sin or flaw, and He led others to the Truth through His teachings and life. However, sinful man despised this King. He was beaten, hung on a cross, and killed on that day. Defeated, conquered it would seem, by the enemy who hates Him more than any other.
But this death was not by man; this was the work of the Holy God. See, God’s creation could never pay the penalty for their corruption; therefore, Jesus came in the flesh to bear the full wrath of God in place of mankind. The debt is paid. The wrath is satisfied. Christ had no intention of stopping there; for three days He remained in the ground before He rose from the dead, defeating death, Hell, and Satan once and for all!
This beautiful story is not simply a story; it is God’s offering of salvation. Through this death and resurrection the Lord proclaims ‘I love you!’ to humanity, ‘and I want you to come home to worship Me and live with Me in peace forever.’ With such an extravagant plan there is such a simple solution – Jesus. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By the drawing of the Holy Spirit, a person needs but to take hold of this everlasting gift in exchange for his or her temporary life. Once the seal is set, life is given purpose and fulfillment, hope for the day in which the Savior is met face to face is implanted in the heart, and an unbreakable covenant is made between God and man.
Yes, this is much more than a story. It is Truth. It is life.
Now I listen for my Savior’s voice.