Creation, Calamity, and Calvary

27 07 2007

There is, I believe, profound mystery that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and that in the end God will create the new heavens and the new earth.

Within that mystery there is the Salvation of the World.

The first ten chapters of Genesis depict the protohistory of the world, seen through the lens of the Israelites.

Tower of Babel.

Noticing that it begins with the benevolent act of God to create all things, the Fall initiates the world into Sin and Death, the Flood demonstrates the destruction of the world due to the proliferation of evil in the world, and the Tower of Babel is the dispersal and confusion of the nations and their languages.

In other words the setup for the Patriarchal Narrative (beginning with Abraham in Genesis 11) is the narrative establishment of the creation of the world and its subsequent fall into corruption, into Sin and Death. It ends with the disharmony of the nations, people separated into separate cultures, languages, barriers are put up between people.

The Patriarchal Narrative flows from this with the beginnings of the Promise of Covenant, “Through your [Abraham’s] Seed, the nations of the world will be blessed.” The Patriarchal Narrative flows seamlessly into the Story of Moses and the Exodus, the Establishment of Israel as God’s Covenant People through Torah. From Joshua onwards we see Israel as the Covenant Nation, and its history from the time of the inhabiting of Canaan, the age of the Judges, and finally the Monarchy; the Kingdom Narrative continues through the Age of the Prophets, and within that period is the Messianic Promise.

The Story of Israel doesn’t end with Malachi, but endures through the conquest of Alexander the Great, the Defilement of the Temple under the Seleucid Dynasty, the Maccabean Revolt, and then finally the Occupation of Rome when Pompey conquered Judea in the name of Julius Caesar.

From here the Evangelists tell us that a half century afterward, shortly before Herod the Great’s death, during the reign Augustus Caesar, that Jesus of Nazareth was born.

We believe Jesus to be the Messiah, the Christ, and the Salvation of the World.

In Christ God undoes all the wrong that has been wrought. He is the Story of Israel encapsulated, the Presence of the Temple enfleshed before us, the Veil torn down separating the Sanctuary of the Most Holy God from the world. In Death and Resurrection undoing what Adam did, being Second Adam and New Man.

Flowing from Him is the Establishment of His Church, His Ekklesia, and the pouring out of the Spirit on Pentecost broke down the barriers erected at Babel–on Pentecost began the uniting of the nations as one New Man. And through His Gift of Baptism the waters that once destroyed wicked men now gives them life and unity into His New Covenant People. Through Him we have been and are being redeemed from the Curse of Sin and Death, for everyone in Christ is a new creation; and our eventual and ultimate eschatological hope is in the end, when God restores the whole of creation, a new heavens and a new earth.

The entire Historical Narrative brings us from Creation to Calamity, and in Christ, from Calamity back to Creation.

That, in a nutshell, is the Mystery of Salvation.





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