THE STORY OF REDEMPTION IN THE BIBLE
Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer © 2019
CRUSHING SATAN’S HEAD
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 1 of 7)
On the day of Jesus’s resurrection, He was walking on the road to Emmaus. He started talking with 2 of His disciples but they didn’t recognize Him. They were sad because they didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. So, Jesus started in Genesis and went through the entire Old Testament and revealed what it said about the Messiah and why He had to die to pay for sin.
The whole Bible is about Jesus, Old and New Testament. God reveals His plan of salvation throughout the Bible. The story starts with God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit always existed. There was a time when God chose to create mankind. He wanted to have fellowship with us so He created a beautiful world for us.
But He had to decide how He was going to make us. There are two ways He could have created us. He could have created us without a free will so that we would be like robots and serve Him because we had to. Or He could create us with a free will so that we could choose to serve & love Him. God decided to give us a free will so we could decide.
There was a boy who had a wooden dog. He put a rope around that dog and pulled it around. The wooden dog did everything he made it do. Then when he was older, he got a real dog. That dog would be glad to see him. He would run up and play with him. But sometimes the dog would destroy things and run away. Which of those two dogs do you think the man liked best? The real dog! That dog could choose to love him.
God gave us a free choice so we could choose to love Him. But when we choose to sin, He would have to punish us and we couldn’t be with a perfect & Holy God. So what did He choose to do? He chose to give us a free will and volunteered to pay for our sin Himself.
He made this beautiful plan before He even created the world. He said He would make man in His image and give us a free will. He would leave heaven and come to earth and pay for our sins. That way we could still be with Him forever. That’s the story of Redemption in the Bible.
God created the world and He created Adam and Eve (Genesis 2-4). He gave them a free will and He put them in Eden. He told them they could eat from any tree except one but they ate from that one tree and as a result, sin entered. Satan tempted them and they disobeyed God. God created angles before the world and gave them a free will. Some of them used their free will to rebel against God. They are the ones we call Satan and demons now.
Adam and Eve tried covering their guilt with leaves but that didn’t cover their sin. God killed an innocent animal, shedding blood and covered them with the animal skin. God is showing that innocent blood must be shed to cover sin. All the sacrifices in the Bible point to Jesus who would be our final sacrifice.
Genesis 3:15 records an important prophecy. It says the Messiah would come. Satan would bite the Messiah’s heel – a very painful wound. But the Messiah would crush Satan’s head and defeat him. Jesus came to have victory over Satan on the cross and crush his power. The battle between God and Satan will continue until the end. But we read the back of the book and we know who wins!
Revelation 20:1-10 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. … When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Are you discouraged by the continuing battle between good and evil in the world and in your own heart? Remember God is the ultimate victor.
When it seems like God isn’t in control, or that Satan is winning the battle in your life, read 1 John 4:4 and Revelation 20:1-10.
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 2 of 7)
God chose to create Adam and Eve with a free will so they could choose to follow Him instead of not having a choice. Unfortunately, they sinned – but God already had a plan. He Himself would leave heaven to come to earth to pay for their sin. That way they could still be with Him in eternity. Innocent blood was shed to cover their sin. It was a picture of God Himself who would pay the ultimate price for their salvation. Animal sacrifices reminded them of this truth.
Adam and Eve had children and they had children. Soon the world was filled with people but they disobeyed God so God sent a flood. But He preserved one man, Noah (Genesis 5-10), and his family in the ark. God is demonstrating those who have faith in Him are safe from judgment.
After Noah, people continued to populate the world. God said to spread out, but they stayed together and built a big tower called Babel (Genesis 11) so they wouldn’t need God. But God sent judgment and changed their languages. They were forced to scatter.
God was giving people chance after chance to use their free will to follow Him, but they disobeyed. God decided to pick one nation to reveal Himself through them. He gave the world His Word and His Messiah. God Abraham (Genesis 12-25) choose to start that nation. God promised to give Abraham as many children as stars in the sky. But Abraham was old and didn’t have any children. Finally, he and Sarah had a son.
His name was Isaac (Genesis 2-28, 35). God told Abraham to put Isaac on the altar and sacrifice him. God was showing we all deserve to die because sin brings judgment and death. But Abraham didn’t have to kill his son because God provided a substitute. Abraham took his only beloved son to a mountain. God took His only beloved son to the same mountain. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, just as Jesus carried the cross up the same hill. When Abraham went to kill his son, God said, “Stop” because there is a substitute. But when God went to kill His son no one said, “stop” because there was no substitute for Jesus. Jesus is our substitute. God revealed more truth about redemption. He showed He Himself would provide innocent blood as a substitute for guilty man. We are saved from condemnation when we accept His gift.
Movie stars often have a double, a substitute who will come in and take the hard hits to spare them. That’s what Jesus did for us – He took the hit for sin, for every sin ever committed. He was my substitute, suffering what I would suffer for all eternity in hell. He is your substitute, too. But you need to accept this free gift of salvation. Have you done so?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Think about what it means to YOU that Jesus became your substitute. What if He wouldn’t haven’t have done that? Pray and thank Him for being willing to take the penalty of your sin.
UNDER THE BLOOD
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 3 of 7)
God created mankind with a free will so they can choose to serve Him, but He knew they would sometimes fail and sin. A perfect God had to punish sin with eternal damnation, but He planned to pay that price Himself so we could still be free to serve Him. God first revealed this plan to Adam and Eve. He kept revealing it to successive generations on down to Abraham, where He provided a substitute so Isaac would not have to die (Genesis 22).
The story continued after Isaac with Jacob (Genesis 37-50). Jacob saw a ladder going up to heaven. God was saying, “You will be able to be with me in heaven again.”
Jacob had 12 sons. Joseph (Genesis 37-50), his favorite, was sold as a slave into Egypt. Jacob and his family were disobeying God in their land, so God moved the entire family to Egypt through Joseph.
For 400 years the Jews were slaves in Egypt. God sent a deliverer, Moses (Exodus through Deuteronomy), to free them. When Moses was born, Pharaoh killed all the baby boys. Satan was trying to destroy the nation from which the Messiah would come, but God preserved Moses. God spoke to him in a burning bush and told him to go deliver God’s people. Pharaoh did not want to let the people go so God sent destructive plagues that represented the false gods of Egypt. It was God and Satan battling and God won!
There was one more plague – the worst of all. It was the death of the first-born male. Everyone deserves to die because of sin, but God again provided a substitute. To be saved, a lamb had to be killed. It didn’t matter how rich or poor, or the good things they did. Only innocent blood would protect them from judgment. They killed the lamb on their doorstep. They put the blood on top of the door and on the sides. It was the same places where Jesus bled: His head, hands and feet.
After putting the blood around their door, the people had to go inside. If they weren’t inside under the blood, they would also suffer God’s judgment. That’s why we are safe under Jesus’ blood. The Passover Lamb was a picture of Jesus. Jesus was a sinless man, who shed His blood for us on the cross, but the blood has to be applied for us to be safe. God is showing more about His plan of redemption.
Do you know what the word redemption means? Redeem means to buy back. If a slave ran away and was captured, the owner would have to pay a price to buy his own slave back. Suppose you made a beautiful piece of jewelry but lost it. Then you found it for sale in a store, but you would have to pay for it. You would have to pay again for what was yours – that is redemption. That’s what God does with us. We were His because He created us but we ran to sin & He had to buy us back. What was the price He paid to buy us back? It was the blood of Jesus. You can always tell the worth of an object by what someone is willing to pay for it. The unbelievably high price paid for us shows how much we are worth to God!
After the death of the firstborn, the Jews left Egypt under Moses. God used His power to deliver them through the Red Sea. He took them to the Promised Land. That was God’s place of blessings for them but they never went into the land because they were afraid of the giants. They were God’s chosen people and He redeemed them. But they chose to fear and didn’t go into His place of rest. There are many today who have accepted the gift of salvation but never experience all He has for them because they live in fear. We have to follow Him in obedience and courage to enjoy all His blessings.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Which has the strongest influence on you: fear of what might happen or love for God? When do you most struggle with fear? What blessings does fear steal from you? What can you do to have victory over fear?
AWAITING THE REDEEMER
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 4 of 7)
We have been tracing God’s plan of redemption as He revealed it to man starting with Adam and Eve. Innocent blood must be shed to cover sin. Man needs a substitute so he won’t have to spend eternity separated from God because of sin. God has been revealing that truth to man progressively from Eden to Egypt. The Jews left Egypt after killing, applying the blood and eating the body of the Passover Lamb. God was revealing more truth about redemption.
After Moses, God chose Joshua (book of Joshua) to lead them into the land. Joshua led the next generation into the Promised Land. They had to fight to claim what God had for them. If we are going to have what God provides for us, there are battles we must win. We have battles against sin, Satan and our own flesh. The Jews didn’t have to fight alone. God gave them Joshua to lead them. Joshua’s name in the Old Testament is the same as Jesus in the New Testament. God is teaching that after salvation we need to follow Jesus to have victory.
After the time of Joshua, Judges (Judges, Ruth) such as Deborah, Barak and Gideon led the Jews. It was a very dark and evil time in Jewish history. Most of the people turned from God but He never turned from them. There are always a few that stayed faithful. The story of Ruth and Boaz is a special story of 2 people who stayed faithful. Ruth was in debt but Boaz paid the price to set Ruth free. In order to set her free, he had to be a near relative. He had to be free from debt and able to pay Ruth’s debt. Jesus became one of us when He was born as a man. He had no sin so He was free to pay our sin debt. Because He was God, He was able to pay for all of our sin debt by suffering for each one of us. Boaz as a Kinsman-Redeemer is a picture of Jesus who paid the price to free us.
Following the Judges, kings ruled the people. God didn’t want them to have kings because He was their King, but they insisted. They wanted a king like all the other nations. The United Kingdom of Israel had three kings. Saul (1 Samuel), the first king, had no heart for God and didn’t follow God.
David (2 Samuel, Psalms), the second king, had a whole heart for God. He wasn’t perfect but he confessed his sin and was forgiven. David wrote many songs about the Messiah. God said the Messiah would be from his family and sit on his throne forever.
The 3rd king was Solomon (1 Kings, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon). He had half a heart for God, sometimes he followed, sometimes he didn’t.
After these kings something awful happened to the nation. They divided into north and south (2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles). In the north there were ten tribes but their kings never followed God. In the south there were two tribes. Some of their kings followed God for a little bit.
God sent prophets (Isaiah to Habakkuk) to warn the people that God would judge them for their sin. They told the people they needed to turn back to God or judgment would come. They prophesied about the future and what would happen when the Messiah came. They gave prophecies about where the Messiah would be born & what He would do. A few obeyed God but most were unfaithful.
The northern tribes went into captivity in Assyria and never returned. Soon the south went into captivity in Babylon. Daniel and Ezekiel were in captivity in Babylon.
After 70 years some of the people went back to their home land and lived there. Zerubbabel led some back as did Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Malachi). They rebuilt the walls and the temple. They waited 400 years for the time God would fulfill His promise come to earth.
It may have seemed the Redeemer would never come. Sometimes it seems God will never fulfil His promises to us, either. But He always does. He kept His promise to come to earth, and He will keep His promises to take care of us until He comes back again.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
What would life be like for you this day if Jesus had never come to be your redeemer? Think of all the ways it would be different than it is today. Thank God for being your Redeemer. Ask God to give you the opportunity to tell someone about His redemption today.
GOD INVADES PLANET EARTH
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 5 of 7)
In the Garden of Eden God had promised the Redeemer would one day come to defeat Satan (Genesis 3:15). Finally, the time came and Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) was born. Jesus was God and He was man. He was completely man – just like us. He came as a baby and grew up. He got tired and He got hungry. He went through everything we go through. So, when we pray to Him we know He understands because He went through all we do. He had to be a man like us in order to take our punishment. But in order to die one time for all of us He also had to be God. He suffered for all of our sins on the cross.
When the time came for Jesus to start His ministry, Jesus went to His cousin John. John was calling people to repent and be baptized. He wanted them to be ready for the Messiah. When John saw Jesus, he called Him by a special name – “the Lamb of God.” Two times he called Him that. There were many, many names John could have used, so why did he use that one?
Jesus is The One the Passover Sacrifice was teaching about. He is the substitute sent by God. John baptized Jesus and went into the wilderness for 40 days. Satan tried to stop Him by tempting Him to sin. Satan tried to stop Jesus by slaughtering the Bethlehem babies. Now, the battle between God and Satan intensified. Satan, the serpent, went into battle against God Himself. Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations with scripture and Satan departed in defeat. But more battles are coming.
Jesus traveled and did miracles to show He was God. Jesus healed people and He cast out demons. He spoke to the storm and it stopped. He walked on water and He brought people back to life. He showed that if He could heal physical sickness, He could heal spiritual sickness. For a year and a half He told the people He was the Messiah. Some believed and followed Him but most did not. They wanted a Messiah for free food and freedom from Rome, but that’s not what Jesus offered. He said they needed to leave everything to follow Him. They didn’t want to serve Jesus; they wanted Jesus to serve them.
After a year most of the people stopped following Jesus. But some who accepted His gift of forgiveness, continued to follow Him. Salvation is a free gift God gives us but we have to accept it. What if I gave you a gift? I paid for it – you don’t have to do anything but receive it. But it’s not yours unless you accept it. By accepting salvation, it means your sins are forgiven so you can go to heaven when you die. But it doesn’t predict how you are going to live on earth. Jesus challenged those who believed in Him to pick up their cross & follow Him. Salvation is free but being a disciple is very costly. We stop living for ourselves and live for Him. Jesus challenged those who accept His free gift of salvation to be His disciples. Many didn’t want to pay the price, so they left. Jesus took the ones still following Him and taught them. He explained who He was and why He came to earth. He showed what it means to follow Him.
Then one day everything changed. The Jews were celebrating the Passover. They didn’t use lamb’s blood anymore on the doorposts. Instead they used the juice of the grape to symbolize the Passover Lamb that died when they left Egypt. They ate unleavened bread; just like the night they left Egypt. Leaven is a picture of sin so this bread is a picture of being sinless. When Jesus took the juice and the unleavened bread Passover night, He fulfilled the meaning. He said this is no longer a picture of the lamb’s blood it is a picture of My blood. This is no longer a picture of unleavened bread it is a picture of My sinless body.
First Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Next time you partake of the Lord’s Supper remember the significance of it and make it a time of praise and worship. Take a few moments now to pause and imagine you are partaking of the elements now. Praise Him for His broken body and shed blood for you. If you would have been the only sinner ever, He still would have gone to the cross just for you!
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 6 of 7)
God has been revealing His plan of redemption from the time of Adam and Eve. Innocent blood had to be shed to pay for sin. Finally, the Redeemer, Jesus, was born and grew up. He explained God’s design for salvation, and then it came time for Him to die as our substitute, our Redeemer.
After Jesus had the Last Supper with His disciples, He went from the Upper Room to Gethsemane. There He was arrested and taken before the religious leaders. They took Him before Pilate and Herod. He was badly mocked and beaten. They made a crown of thorns and pushed it down on His head. They mocked Him as a king and beat Him. They whipped Him until there was no flesh left on His back. Then they put a big wooden cross on His back for Him to carry up the hill. At the top of the hill they threw Him down on top of the wood. They got large nails and nailed them through His wrists. They picked up the cross and dropped it into a hole in the ground.
Crucifixion was the cruelest death man could invent. People would stay alive for days until they died. They would finally die because they could no longer breathe. When they were hanging on the cross their shoulders pushed into their lungs so they couldn’t breathe. They bent the knees of the one being crucified when they nailed them to the cross so they could push up and straighten their legs. That way the pressure would be off their shoulders and they could breathe. But the pain would be so great they would have to go back down again. Can you imagine how it felt for the rough wood to rub against His raw back? That’s why Jesus didn’t talk much while on the cross.
During all this time Satan and all his demons were attacking Him. They were doing all they could to destroy Him. They knew if they could get Him to quit, then Satan would win. Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He always had perfect fellowship with the Father and the Spirit. This is the first time He was separated from Them. We experience separation from God because we have sinned many times in our life, but Jesus had never experienced separation from God.
He felt the guilt and shame for every sin that was ever committed. In order to pay for our sins, He had to suffer for every one of them. He was our substitute. Every sin of ours was put on Him. When Jesus suffered, He suffered for each one of us individually. There was a time when He was hanging on the cross that He thought of your name and saw your face (Galatians 2:20; John 10:14-15). He had to decide if He would die for your sins. When He saw you and knew your name He said, “Yes.” If you had been the only one who ever sinned, He still would have done it for you (Luke 15:7, 10).
He stayed on the cross suffering our hell for three hours. Do you know why He did it? Why He stayed on the cross? It wasn’t the nails that held Him there. He did it because He loves us. That is the only reason He did it. Can you imagine anyone loving you that much? Don’t ever think He doesn’t love you, don’t ever think you are alone. Sometimes awful things happen and God seems far away, but when you remember the cross you know His love for you.
Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
Spend some time thanking Jesus for His work for you on the cross. Remember, He thought about you and your sin on the cross. He willingly took your eternal hell punishment so you could be with Him in heaven forever. Think of how different your life would be without Him. Praise and worship Him!
THE STORY NEVER ENDS
(My favorite session to teach in India is Bible Overview, about God’s plan of Redemption from eternity past to eternity future. This blog is part of a shortened version of that session. Part 7 of 7)
Jesus’ death on the cross was the culmination of all God has been revealing about His plan of redemption since the Garden of Eden. Innocent blood would have to be shed by God’s substitute, Jesus the Messiah. This happened when He died on the cross.
After the last sin was paid for Jesus said, “It is finished.” That was the word they would write when somebody paid for something. It means, “Paid in full” because the debt was paid and the punishment for every sin was put on Him. After all sins were paid for He didn’t have to hang there in shame & pain any longer. The Bible says He gave up His Spirit…voluntarily and intentionally. Because the price was paid, He could go to heaven and be reunited with God.
They took His body off the cross and buried it. It was three in the afternoon when they took His body down. That is the very time when the Passover lamb was being killed in the Temple for the whole nation. While the priests were offering the lamb sacrifice, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. God was showing we don’t have to be separated from God’s presence because sin was paid for, just as God planned from the time, He decided to give man a free will.
Followers took Jesus’ body and put it in a burial cave. But Jesus promised on the third day His body would come back to life – and He did! He defeated death and conquered it so those who believe in Him will never have to fear death. God is showed He is victorious over Satan, sin and death. He foretold this from the beginning. Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled. Satan gave Jesus a painful wound on the cross. But Jesus defeated Him and crushed his power forever. He proved it when He came back to life. Then He appeared to over 500 people over 40 days. After that, He ascended back to heaven.
The disciples kept telling the story. It spread from Peter and Paul and to others down to us today. Jesus has promised one day He will return. The trumpet will sound and He will come in the clouds to take those who believe in Him back to heaven to be with Him forever. He will take us out of the world because terrible judgment is coming. We accepted His sacrifice for us so we will never be under God’s judgment. Noah, Lot and Rahab were all believers protected from God’s judgment because they believed in Him.
The tribulation will be a time of terrible judgment on earth. Satan and all demons will be freed to try and rule the people on earth. The Antichrist will kill all who turn to Jesus. It will be 7 years of terrible punishment and pain. At the end of that time Jesus will come back to earth and we will come with Him. It will be God’s final judgment on all evil and sin. Satan and demons will be in hell forever. All who do not believe will also be sent to hell forever. God’s people will rule and reign with Him for all eternity – forever and ever and ever.
Jesus explained many of these truths to those disciples on the road to Emmaus. It’s the story of redemption in the Bible. That’s the story God gives us the privilege of telling others. It’s the most powerful and important story ever! It’s the story of redemption.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
What does Jesus’ resurrection mean to you personally? How often do you think of it? What difference does it make in your day to day life? When feeling alone or discouraged, remember all you have to be thank for.