Promise Kept - The Grand Story of Redemption

"For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen, to the glory of God though us." 2 Corinthians 1:20

House hunting is a tough thing, especially when trying to find one from a distance. On our last move, my husband and I were looking for a house that had very specific components, land for the children to roam and explore, enough bedrooms to accommodate six children (with some sharing), an area to set up a permanent home school, and a laundry ROOM. Our previous homes both had laundry pass-throughs that caused major hazards for people coming into the house from our garage entry. Our ever-patient real estate agent took me to (what seemed like) hundreds of houses and none were right. Some would work for our temporary needs, but not for our home. After two house-hunting trips, my hopes were failing, my doubts were daunting and my anxiety was at an all-time high. In the middle of looking for a place to live, we were also trying to complete an adoption. In order to have all of the paperwork signed off, we had to have a permanent dwelling. On my last trip we found a house that we thought might work and were willing to settle. We made an offer and I flew back to Florida. The offer was accepted; but the house failed inspections. I was devastated. As we waited in Florida for God to perform a miracle, my husband said he wanted to go out to some open houses with the agent, and he particularly wanted to check on a brand new listing he had seen. He gave me the information and I pulled up the listing online. As I studied the outside of the house, I could not see how this could possibly be the one. It just didn't seem like anything I'd ever pictured. If I had only seen the house online, without my husband telling me about it, I would have clicked right past it. Later in the day, he called to tell me he was inside the house. He wanted to go room by room, describing each as I looked at them online. During the virtual tour, he kept saying, "I think this is the one. It has everything we've been looking for. I really think you'll like it." I still couldn't understand. I needed to see it for myself. And, see it I did, a week later, after our offer had been made and accepted, I pulled up to the house on the day of the inspection. And I discovered that everything my husband told me was true. He was right. It has everything we were looking for and most importantly, it is home. After settling in and learning more about this place, I can see how God was at work in every detail leading up to our move. There's so much more to the story, but basically, He made me wait until the right time, which was His time and not mine so that I would recognize His provision for my life.

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Sometimes, reading the Bible can feel like a long-distance house hunt, especially reading the whole Bible. We know the Bible is a book about Jesus, and is often called "God's love letter," but confidently walking through the Old Testament can feel like an unachievable task. Finding Jesus there may seem too difficult. It's hard to make our home in the first 39 books of the Bible, except for maybe the Psalms or Proverbs. We'd rather run on ahead to the New Testament, where we clearly see Jesus. Can you imagine what it was like for the people who lived during Old Testament times? Or the people who lived in the days of Jesus' early ministry? The people looked for a Messiah, but they did not see Him because no one expected Him to come the way He came - so very humble. No one expected Him to look the way He looked - so very ordinary. And certainly, no one expected Him to die the way He died - so very full of shame. No one expected these things, that is no one except those who had listened to God's Word, who had seen Jesus in the symbols and the pictures, the foreshadowing and the allusions - the Word, given through prophets and the actions of the priests, directed by God to move on the people's behalf. The ones who listened to the Word of the Old Testament were the ones who recognized Jesus, the One Who God sent at the right time, to give them a future and a hope, a home in Him. They saw Jesus, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Promised One.

2 Corinthians 1:20 says, "For all of the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen, to the glory of God through us."

All the promises of God...in Jesus...Yes.

On our journey together, we will hunt for Jesus. And we'll find Him. And He will be beautiful. He is in every promise the Father makes to His children. He is the Sufficient One Who is called for in the repeated offerings of lamb after lamb, each one insufficient to make eternal atonement for our sin. He is God's Provision for His people. God's timing is perfect. The Redeemer comes right on schedule. God waits so we will recognize that the Promised One is Jesus. And in Jesus are all the Promises of God kept forever. Join me as we discover how all of Scripture, all of history, truly is one grand story of redemption, one grand story of the Redeemer.

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In his book, Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado gives a gripping account of the most important event in history, the death of Jesus on the cross. Before describing the crucifixion, Lucado imagines what those hours must have looked like to the "casual observer." He says, "To the casual observer there was nothing unusual about these six hours. To the casual observer, this Friday was a normal Friday. Six hours of routine. Six hours of the unexpected. Six hours. One Friday." (18) In the mind of a nonbeliever, the six hours of Jesus' crucifixion mean nothing. But, in the eternity of their lives, those six hours mean everything. Those six hours on that Friday represent the climax of all eternity past, as well as the marker of all eternity future. God appointed those hours, that moment of Jesus' death to be the defining moment of all time. Lucado envisions those hours like this:

"The living must die so that the dying can live. The time has come to kill the Lamb. 'Here is the cup, My Son. The cup of sorrows. The cup of sin. Slam, mallet! Be true to your task. Let your ring be heard throughout the heavens. Lift Him high to His throne of mercy. Lift Him above the people that curse His name. Now plunge the tree into the earth. Plunge it deep into the heart of humanity. Deep into the strata of time past. Deep into the seeds of the future." (103)

To the believer, it is those six hours, the crucifixion of Jesus that changes the way we see everything. As we look upon the cross, we don't see a poor teacher suffering for His radical teachings. We see our Messiah, paying the price for our redemption. In His agony, we see our atonement. In his misery, we see God's mercy upon us. In the hatred He took, we see the love He gave. In His dying, we see our life. It is through the blood-stained lens of sacrificial love that all of the Word and all of the world becomes clear. Hebrews 1:1-3 unfolds the mystery this way: "God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds, Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." From the beginning, God spoke of this moment. In the Garden of Eden, He spoke words of promise that were woven into the fabric of His people through symbols and sacrifices and priests and prophets. God spoke redemption right into every book of His Word. All of it, all of Scripture, all of eternity past points to Jesus. Over the coming weeks, we'll move from the garden tomb back to the Garden of Eden. We'll travel through the historical accounts of Scripture, taking a look at the overarching message of God to His people. At every turn and at every stop, we'll hear God saying, "Your Redemption draweth nigh. The Messiah is coming." Amen and amen...

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