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You know, the bible is a little bit like the MCU.  In the MCU there are lots of big characters, your heroes, villians, people with great hair, plot twists, love stories, battles, victories, loses, and everything in between.  There are also the theories and the mythology and the easter eggs all the way through the 22 movies that belong in the MCU.

The bible is a lot like that.  Main players, heroes, villians, people with great hair, plot twists, love stories, battles, victories, loses, theories, themes and the all-important easter eggs all the way through the 66 books in the Bible.

So in the beginning… God created the heavens and the earth and everything on it.  There was nothing then God spoke LET THERE BE LIGHT and there was light.   Boom, just like that.  I believe in a literal 6 day creation and that God has the power and creativity to make that happen.  When I was in year 13 I got saved.  And I had never really thought about creation and how the world was made… until I did year 13 Biology.  And the major topic for the year, you guessed it, evolution.  All of a sudden I felt like I had to make a decision about what I believed and have some answers!   I remember freaking out about it because it was never something I had looked into – but then as I was reading my bible I cam across Hebrews 11:3 NIV: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”   God created the world and everything in it.  Simple.  By faith I believed it.  I didn’t really have any answers but I by faith accept that it was all made by God because God is God and big enough and powerful enough to do it.  If you are interested in finding out more head to Creation.com the website of creation ministries who came to us last year.  You can literally look up about anything and find the answer there.

 

So the first people we meet in the Bible are Adam and Eve.

Gen2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the animals, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable companion was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Okay firstly – guys, you’re not missing a rib.  And girls, we don’t have one more than the guys.  We all have the same amount of ribs.

Adam and Eve lived in what is called the Garden of Eden, a beautiful place.  Everything was beautiful and perfect.  Until… da da da… one day a serpent came and talked to Eve… did God really say?  Did God really say you cant eat from that tree?   Now we know the serpent is the devil, is satan, is the enemy.  And his sole mission was to make Eve doubt who God is… that God is good, that God is great, that God is loving and wise.  Did God really say is at the root of all our own sin issues.  Did God really say wait until marriage to have sex?  Did God really say honour your parents?  Did God really say….?   Now we wish Adam and Eve were like a Hillsong vocalist, tell the devil no not today, or like Dora the explorer, swiper no swiping… but she totally falls for it and long story short eats the forbidden fruit.   Now before you diss on Adam and Eve too much on this… put yourself in the story.  I reckon we’d all make the same dumb decision.  Why did God set it up this way?  He gave them a choice.  That is because God doesn’t want robots.  You must worship me.  Yes master.  He gave them a choice and He gives us a choice to follow Him.    So Adam and Eve’s choice opened the door for death and sin and the consequences of sin.  Sickness and the broken world we live in is because of that one moment.   But long story short we also see the first promise of a Saviour in Genesis 3 – the promise of Jesus who will come and right all wrongs, who will make a way back to God, who will cleanse us of our sin.

 

Moving now onto Genesis 12.  Im skipping over some big events, like Noah’s flood, but I want to introduce you to a main player Abraham.

There are 3 main events in Abrahams journey that I want to share with you in this post.

  1. Abraham follows God.

In Genesis 12 we meet Abraham, but he is called Abrahm – we’ll come to that in a minute – and God calls him to leave the land he was living in and to follow Him.  He calls him to leave Ur and to go to a place that God would show Him.   Now that takes a lot of courage.  There is no facebook.  No Instagram.  No emails.  No snail mail system.  No jetstar.  No ubers.  You leave and go miles away and that’s it.  You never see your family again.   And God is keeping the gps destination a secret.

Who here does epic road trips with their family.  When I was growing up we would at least once a year road trip to my grandparents about 6 hours away.     We would squish into the car and just drive and take turns on who got to chose the music we would listen to.   6 hours would equal about 2 turns per person of music selection.  2 hours each.  And every time for about 4 years my brother would choose Snoopys Christmas Album.  Seriously.  I break into hives every time I hear it now.  So bad.  It’s like the chipmunks on speed.  My sister would be into some annoying boy band and of course my musical taste was superior and more awesome than anyone elses.    So we’d be squished in the back “he touched me, she’s looking at me” and of course “are we there yet?”  are we there yet is the golden question.   And no we were never there yet.   At least we knew where we were going.

Abraham, are we there yet?  God.  Nope.  Not yet.

Abraham, are we there yet.  God, nope not yet.

Abraham, are we there yet… you get the picture.

God led Abraham to what is now known as modern day Israel.  Now long story short, God has chosen Israel as His special land and special people to work through history with them and to have a special relationship with.   Abraham is like the first of this nation and God promises Him in Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Which brings us to event number 2.

 

  1. Abraham becomes a dad

So God has promised Abraham that he is going to start this great family and dynasty.  The problem is that Abraham and his wife Sarah have no kids.  And they’re old.   There is, um, a window of time when a woman can have a baby.  Lets just say that window was shut.  Locked.  Bolted.  Boarded over.   Boarded over again and then covered in bricks.   There was literally in the right sense of the word no way for Sarah to have a baby.

Over and over again God promises Abraham this great big family.  He tells him to look up to the night sky and to count the stars because as many stars as there in the sky is how many will be in his family.  He tells him to look at the sand because as many grains of sand there is is how big his family will be.

God even changes his name to Abraham which means Father of a multitude.

But there is still no baby.

You know, there are things that God has promised you.  Prophecies.  Words.  Dreams.  And we so want things NOW.  We’re very much part of a NOW generation and we even pace unpatiently with how long it takes our 2 minute noodles to cook!  Cook faster!

Sometimes God’s promises take time.  In that time God is at work in us to shape us to be the man or woman to live out that promise.  He’s training us.  He’s developing us.  He’s transforming us.   God knows the times and seasons of our life and we can trust Him, if He has said it, He will do it, if we partner with Him in becoming a person ready to live that promise fulfilled.

There is a scene in Spiderman homecoming where Peter Parker discovers that his suit has been set on training wheels protocol.  He disables it and all of a sudden all these super cool features unlock.   Enhanced Reconnaissance mode which enables him to hear the bad guys in the van and Enhanced combat mode with instant kill and 576 web shooter combinations.  Of course Peter Parker doesn’t know how to use all of this because he hasn’t completed his training wheels course… and things go to custard.

The same happens for Abraham in a way.  He has this great prophecy but cant figure out how God is going to make this happen, because again, biology, windows closed… and so actually Sarah has this bright idea, for Abraham to have a baby with her servant lady.  Yup.  Seriously.  So Abraham becomes a dad, and has a son called Ishmael.  Sarah is not the mother.   But this is not the plan and Ishmael is a short cut that did not work.

Again God promises and makes it clear YOU AND SARAH will have a baby and you will be father of a great nation.    Biology, smology, Im God and miracles are my business.

So Abraham is 100 and Sarah is 99 and Wham bam thank you mam…. Isaac is born.  Isaac is the son of Abraham and Sarah, the promised son.

 

Which brings us to event 3.

  1. Abraham goes to kill his son

Isaac is the special son, the chosen one.  The kids he has and the kids they have and the kids they have are going to make this huge big family that become the nation and people group of Israel.  We can read about his birth in Genesis 21.

So plot twist… Genesis 22.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

 

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

 

Okay.  So Abraham has the promised son, the son he loves, the son who is going to have kids who have kids who have kids…  but now God says kill him!

Now I would be freaking out.  If God told me to kill my kids I’d be like say what?  I think Im not hearing you right?   Something is lost in translation…. Is that you God????  Back away Satan!

I love my kids.  They are my world.  And Abraham loved Isaac.  His beloved son. Isaac was the key to the prophecy being fulfilled.  No Isaac, no great nation of Israel.

There is a lot riding on this.

 

Abraham packs up their stuff, travels 3 days and are we there yet?  Am I right?

 

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

 

 

This whole passage is an Easter Egg.

Isaac is the only son, the son he loves.

The son is born with divine intervention.

They travel 3 days.

Isaac carried the wood.

The son was laid on the wood

The son was the sacrifice

 

Sound familiar.

 

Jesus is the only son begotton Son of God the Father, born with divine intervention.  He carried his wooden cross to the place of his death, was laid on the wood and nailed to it.

The Son of God was the sacrifice.    Unlike in Abrahams case God did not stop Jesus’ death.   There was no ram, no substitute – Jesus was the sacrifice, that takes away the sin of the world.

The place that Abraham took Isaac, Mt Moriah, is the very same location, the very same hill, that Jesus Christ our Saviour stretched out his arms on the cross and died.  The same location.  Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.  He did.  He provided the sacrifice for you and me.   He provided the way that makes the way for us to come close to God.

God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son.  And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross,  so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. 21 You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.