Summary: The Bible would be a depressing book about sinful people... if it weren't for the "last chapter". God took the story of Adam and Eve and built His last chapter of the story around a man, a garden and a tree. What do these 3 tell us about God's plan?
OPEN: I read the true story of a little girl who was sick and home from school. She and her mother got to talking about what they’d learned in Sunday School the day before and the little girl said: “If it weren’t for Adam and Eve, I wouldn’t be sick.”
Her mother was about to comment on that when the daughter then said:
“But, come to think about it, if they hadn’t eaten that apple, we’d still be sitting around naked.”
(Sarah Ames, Kobe, Japan)
ILLUS: One night, a father heard his son in his bedroom saying: “You're gonna get it... you're gonna get it.”
Curious, the father opened his son's door and asked what was going on and he saw his son laying on the bed reading a book. “Everything ok?” he asked.
The boy looked up from a book he was reading and said: “Oh, I just get so frustrated with this story. The bad guy always seems to take advantage of the good guy. It so disturbed me that yesterday I turned to the back of the book and read the last chapter. And you know what? The hero wins. Now whenever I read about the bad guy beating up my hero it makes me feel better to yell ‘You're gonna get it.’”
NOW that he knew the end of the story - that young boy wasn’t so upset when his hero appeared to be losing.
And you know, the Bible is like that.
It’s filled with stories that – if you didn’t read the last chapter – you’d wonder what was going on.
Because it sounds so often like God’s people are losing.
One such story is the one we’re reading today.
Adam and Eve had been given a beautiful garden and they have everything they could possibly want. Their life is filled with purpose and pleasure and they get to talk to God every day.
But then, on to the scene comes the enemy.
And Satan has destroyed everything God had created.
The Garden was gone.
The tree of life was gone.
Adam and Eve began to die.
And the world they once knew was filled with sadness and pain.
God’s people had lost.
Satan had won.
And death now reigned where God had once created life.
Of course… that wasn’t the last chapter.
But from that point, God began to let us know what that ‘last chapter’ was going to be.
Right after confronting Adam and Eve, God turned to the serpent and decreed that – one day – the son of a woman would crush his head.
One day, God decreed, Satan was “Gonna Get It!”
Now, DID that happen?
Was there a boy-child who came along and crushed the head…?
That’s right. Jesus was that male child of a woman who was to come and crush Satan’s head.
And Hebrews tells us how He did that:
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15
Satan was crushed - destroyed by Jesus on the cross.
And the power of death that he held over the heads of mankind was removed.
Now we are free from fear of death.
THAT was the last chapter.
And that last chapter of the Story was so important to God, that everything in Scripture is built around its message. Everything in the Old Testament pointed forward to this one great event.
Jesus – the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Jesus – the destroyer of the serpent.
Jesus – the one who had come to free us from sin and death.
The last chapter of the story was written on the cross and on the walls of the empty tomb. And everything in the Old Testament pointed forward to that great event. AND everything in the NEW testament tells why this was such a significant chapter in God’s story.
ILLUS: Do you like to read?
I love to read. I’ll read biographies and autobiographies and mysteries and science fiction stories. One time I couldn’t find anything but the “National Enquirer”… and I read THAT! I’ve always got to have a book to read.
But if I start reading a book and I find – after the first couple chapters – that the story’s not going anywhere, I’ll put that book down and pick up something else. I don’t want a story that doesn’t have a good plot line and an obvious intentional story that tells me something.
That’s why I love the Bible. It’s a book that’s “going somewhere”.
It’s a book that tells me something.