What is the Bible all about? Those who read and study it will know that the whole book centres on the Lord Jesus Christ and His relationships with the people He created. From beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is the central character. He was the Creator of the world and Author of the Universe. (John 1:3) Without God ‘speaking’ the world into being (Genesis 1:3, 6,9, 11, 14, 20, 24) and creating the earth’s inhabitants, both humans and animals, there would be no relationships between them.
Many animals, and virtually all humans are gregarious. In other words they like the company of their kind. Men and women are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26) God, although One, (Mark 12:32) is also Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three Persons have a relationship of perfect love and harmony. When ‘He’ made the world God said, “Let Us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26) He did it with a view to having a relationship with them, so that they could enjoy Him for ever.
His eternal plan was to have them live with Him in a perfect land/world where they would live with Him without end. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
As we read the Bible we discover there was a harmonious relationship between the first man Adam, and God. God created him from the dust of the earth, (Genesis 2:7) and He created Eve as a partner for him. She was made from one of Adam’s ribs, (Genesis 2:21, 22) and because of this there was a direct relationship between them. They were of the same kind – Adam a male, and Eve a female. They were to have a perfect, loving relationship, (Genesis 2:23, 24) and a special relationship with God and His creatures. (Genesis 1:27, 28) All of God’s creatures were to multiply. (Genesis 1:22, 28; 9:7)
In the Genesis account we come to a point in time when things appear to go pear-shaped, but it was all in God’s plan. The serpent enters the Garden of Eden and lures Eve into disobeying God who had imposed one rule for Adam and Eve to keep. They were forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:16, 17) God warned them that if they did, they would surely die. Eve succumbed to the serpent’s cunning and ate of the tree. Adam also ate of it, at which moment they became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed. (Genesis 3:6, 7) They hid in the garden, but to no avail, for God found them, and He cursed the serpent and ‘put enmity’ between him and Eve’s Seed, saying, “He (the Seed) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
These words encapsulate the theme of conflict between Jesus and satan (the serpent/devil) that runs through the Bible. The ‘Seed’ with a capital ’S’ is Jesus, who would ultimately overcome the serpent. However, the serpent would strike Jesus. He would suffer and die as a result, before being raised to life, triumphantly outmanoeuvring the serpent (devil) whom He would finally cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:10)
The Old Testament tells the story of God’s special people, the Israelites, (Deuteronomy 7:6) who would inherit a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:8, 17) However, there were conditions of obedience to God if they were to enter the land.(Deuteronomy 26:16, 17) They miserably failed to obey His laws, but for the sake of His name, (Ezekiel 20:44) after 40 years of wandering in the desert under the leadership of Moses, Joshua led their sons and daughters into the land of Canaan. (Joshua 21:43-45)
In due time after many failings and warnings from the Prophets, Israel and Judah were united under the kingship of David. (2 Samuel 5:1-5) God promised him that his Seed would sit on his throne forever. (2 Samuel 7:12, 13; Revelation 4:9, 10) The ‘Seed’ was the same Seed who would overcome the serpent, and whose lineage could be traced to Adam. (Luke 3:23-38) However, God’s people repeatedly disobeyed Him. In turn He exiled them to Assyria and Babylonia. Eventually a remnant returned to their homeland and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem, but there followed about 460 years of silence from the Prophets until the time of Jesus, who was the prophesied Prophet like Moses, and whom the people were to hear. (Deuteronomy 18:15)
The New Testament continues the Seed’s story. He would be killed as prophesied (John 11:49-52) and raised from the dead to triumph over the serpent. (Luke 24:44-48) He would call a people to Himself (1 Peter 2:9, 10) who would live with Him forever in a perfect, new land without blemish. This will be the new earth where the new Jerusalem will be full of God’s glory and its inhabitants will have no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4) There will be no more curse. (Revelation 22:3) The curse of Adam will be annulled. (Genesis 3:17-19)
From this sketchy outline of the Bible’s revelation of Jesus, and His resolution to redeem a holy nation to Himself, you can see it is mainly about relationships. God relates to the people whom He has created. Many reject His offer of love and reconciliation through His Son, (John 3:16) but those who take hold of it have a relationship with Him and with one another. God called them to Himself, and He calls them to love one another as He loves them. (John 13:34; Romans 13:8)
Initially, the relationship right from the time of Adam’s transgression was broken for him and for his offspring, because of his disobedience which brought death. All were doomed to die, because in Adam all mankind sinned. (Romans 3:23) Not until Jesus paid the price for the sin of Adam, by dying as a sacrifice for the elect, was the relationship restored with those who would believe in Him. ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
Those who are ‘in Christ’ have a living relationship with the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Spiritually, they live in the land of promise, and in time to come they will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)