From Wrecked To Resurrected: This Is Us…
Like any good story, there is a beginning and end. We all love great stories. We have read thousands of tremendous books that take us on journeys with the hero. We see how the hero became the hero and we eventually see how the hero vanquishes the evil of his or her time. Movies have been dedicated to these sorts of stories. Now a days, we often divide up these tails into trilogies, prequels and sequels. We are left on the edge of our seats as the first of three movies ends. We are left wondering what will happen. We all long for the ending of the story.
Many times, we must wait. We wait for the conclusion. The end. In our hearts, we know that it turns out ok. We know the victor wins. We know that good triumphs over evil. We just want to see it happen.
This morning, I want to tell you a story. I want to tell you the story of us. You and me. All humanity. I want to do my best to give you a clear understanding of where we have been, what we have been doing, and how the story ends.
I want to remind you that humanity’s story has a beginning and an end.
Humanity’s Story Has A Beginning and End!
My wife recently got into this new show on NBC. The show is called This Is Us. It has become very popular, especially with people of my generation. The story examines the lives of three adult children and their parents. It is continually revealing the lives of these adult children and then it suddenly cuts back in time. The audience discovers that many of the decisions the children make are tied to the decisions of their mother and father in the past.
Essentially, the past has influence over the future.
Apparently This Is Us is the cure for dry eye because every time my wife watches, she cry. She apparently is not alone.
Well, the show demonstrates a powerful truth. The past, our past choices influence our present day. Our past choices do impact our future. So, let’s get started with our story. For the record, it is not really our story. It is God’s story, but we will get to that in a minute.
This Is Us…
Genesis 1:1 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The Bible teaches us that God created everything. Everything that we see was created by God and everything that is invisible to us was also created by Him.
On Day 1, God created light and darkness. This light was not from the Sun. The sun had not been created yet. The light emanated from the glory of God. God is light and He lit the expanse that would be the universe with…well…Himself.
On Day 2, God made and expanse. It was stretched out like space. The way I imagine it is that this was the canvas that God would paint our earth or Universe.
On Day 3, God caused the water under the expanse to come together so that dry ground would appear. The He called large, mature plants and trees to come forth from the ground.
On Day 4, God made the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. These were to serve as signs to mark seasons, days and years. The sun and moon were to rule the day and night, which cycle began on Day 1.
On Day 5, God created life, sea-life that live in the water and birds that soar above our heads.
On Day 6, God created land animals, including the first humans. Their names, as God gave them to them, were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were the very first people and our generational grandparents. God provided for Adam and Eve everything they would need to live.
And finally, on Day 7, God rested because everything He had done was good.
This Is Us…
Genesis 2:17 ESV
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
Everything was good. Adam and Eve were living in a perfect relationship with God. They walked with God and spoke to God. They enjoyed God’s company and they had an amazing friendship with God. Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with one another. They had a perfect relationship with creation. They could eat whatever they wanted. They could eat everything save from one tree. God had spoken to both the man and the woman and told them that they could not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He told them that if they ate of the tree, Adam and Eve would surly die.
Why? Why did God even put that tree in the garden? Simply put, God had to create an environment of choice. You see friends, love cannot be forced. It has to be chosen. Without the choice of obeying God or disobeying God, Adam and Eve were robots. They were automatons. God created a system where both Adam and Eve could daily choose to live with Him, love Him, and continue in a perfect relationship with him.
Without choice, there is no love.
So, we have a new character enter the story of God. Our story. It is the serpent. We call him the Devil today. The Devil convinces Eve that God was lying when He told them not to eat of the tree. He convinces her that she will not die. So, Eve eats and then Adam eats. This act of disobedience changes everything.
We see conflict break out in Adam and Eve’s marriage.
We see the corruption of the earth and everything in it.
We see the collapse of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God.
We see that Adam and Eve are called forth from their perfect garden and must live in the wilderness.
I Timothy 2:14 tells us that Adam and Eve were immediately dead on the inside because of what they did. From that moment on, both Adam and Eve would begin the death process.
I Timothy 2:14 ESV
and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Sadly, because of our grandparents sin, our present and future has been affected. Our DNA is so infected with sin, a sin that has been passed down for generations, that we cannot control our sin appetite. We experience the same problems and live with the same consequences that Adam and Eve dealt with.
Our marriages are busted and broken.
The earth is a mess. We are battered by hurricanes, earthquakes, starvation, pestilence, tornados, and fires. God’s perfect world is a shell of itself.
Man’s relationship with God is still suffering.
Sadly, our This Is Us Story continues to degrade throughout the pages of the Bible.
This Is Us…
Genesis 7:23 ESV
He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.
God created a perfect world in six normal-length days (Genesis 1–2), but Adam disobeyed God’s command not to eat the forbidden fruit and brought corruption and death into the world (Romans 5:12). Adam’s sin passed to his children, his children’s children and so on.
It would not be long after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden that their own son Cain would kill his brother Abel. This was the first murder.
As time passed, people began to create, invent, explore, and try new ideas. They began to worship false Gods, kill, and hate. Adam tried to warn his descendants. No one seemed to listen. They didn’t seem to care what had happened in the Garden of Eden and man shook his fist at God.
There was only one man who looked to God. His name was Noah. Noah found favor in God’s eyes. He worshiped God and so did Noah’s family. They alone loved God.
Imagine for one moment that on the entirety of earth, only one man loved God. That’s a bad place to be. So, God desired to start over. He destroyed mankind, with the exception of Noah and his family, with a flood.
God gave Noah a way out. He gave Noah the plans for an Ark, a great boat that would save them. There was only one door to the Ark. Only one way in. Noah constructed the Ark according to God’s plan. Animals of all kinds came two by two the ark. They came on board and Noah and his family cared for them. The rain came and waters arose from the earth and suddenly mankind was the size of one singular family. All were dead, except for Noah and his family.
After leaving the Ark, Noah built an altar to the Lord, sacrificing one of each of the clean animals. God promised never to flood the entire earth again. The sign of this promise is the rainbow we see today.
This Is Us…
Genesis 11:7-8 ESV
7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
So God saves Noah. Problem solved right? No. Noah and his family still carried the sin gene. Unfortunately the descendants of Noah were sinful and reckless. Noah’s descendants felt that if they stayed close, stayed together, stayed united, that they could do anything. They felt that they could ascend to God’s Holy mountain. They believe that they themselves could be like God. At that time, the Bible tells us that there was only one language and all man spoke it.
When the Lord saw their disobedience, He was displeased—as He is with all disobedience—and He confused the language of the people so they couldn’t understand each other (until this time, they all spoke one language). In this way, the Creator scattered them over all the earth.
Friend, after creation, the corruption of creation, the catastrophic events of the flood and the subsequent confusion of mankind, one might say that we are all in a mess. Humanity is a wreck. It is totally busted.
You see friend, we have a sin problem. We still have a sin problem. Let me tell you why sin is an issue.
First, sin must be paid for. Romans 3:23 tells us that the wages, or payment, of sin is death. That’s a steep price. I am not just talking about physical death. I am also talking about spiritual death.
Second, because of our sin, we are separated from God. You and I have seen firsthand how sin separates us from each other. Remember the last time you were betrayed. Remember those feelings. Did that betrayal bring you closer or further away from the person who betrayed you? It created distance didn’t it? The same happens with us and God. When we disobey Him, as Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, we are separated from Him. A huge expanse, a great cavern is set in place between us and God. We cannot reach Him. Isaiah 59:2 tells us the facts.
Isaiah 59:2 NLT
It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
Lastly, there is only one thing that can divert God’s wrath and justice. There is only one thing that shift the blame away from us, the evil doers and sinners. What is that one thing? Blood. Something has to die. Something has to bleed. It is not pretty. It is not easy. It is true.
Hebrews 9:22 ESV
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
So, what are people to do? Well God gives us, our spiritual forefathers the law. The law was given to reveal to us, to define for us, sin. The law shows us the need for a redeemer. The law points us to sacrifice.
For hundreds of years, this sacrifice for our sins came in the form of animals. Yet, a greater sacrifice was coming. It did come.
This Is Us…
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
At the moment of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God did not abandon the chief object of His affection. In the midst of death and desolation, God made a promise to the first humans. From Adam and Eve would come Someone who would one day take away the penalty of sin, which is death.
Who is this Someone? The answer is Jesus.
All of man was corrupted, so God had to intervene in a special way. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit overshadowed a young woman who carried the name Mary. Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph and she was a virgin. This unique union gave human life to the Almighty Jesus. Quietly and literally, Jesus the God Man came to earth some 2000 years ago. His birth was foretold by the prophets of Isaiah and Micah among others.
Jesus fulfilled more than fifty prophecies made about Him centuries before, showing He was the One promised over 4,000 years before by His Father (Genesis 3:15). While He spent over thirty years on earth, He never once sinned—He did nothing wrong. He healed many people, fed huge crowds and taught thousands of listeners about their Creator God and how to be reconciled to Him. He even used the book of Genesis to explain that marriage is between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:3-6, quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24).
Jesus Christ came to earth so that we might have eternal life with Him!
This Is Us…
Philippians 2:5–8 ESV
Christ Jesus … who, being in the form of God … , was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Our first “parent,” Adam, did not lead the perfect life he should have. He disobeyed his Creator’s command not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of God’s judgment on this one act of rebellion, the entire creation, which was originally perfect (Genesis 1:31), became subject to death and corruption. Because of Adam’s sin, and because we sin personally, we all die (Romans 5:12–19).Our first “parent,” Adam, did not lead the perfect life he should have. He disobeyed his Creator’s command not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of God’s judgment on this one act of rebellion, the entire creation, which was originally perfect (Genesis 1:31), became subject to death and corruption. Because of Adam’s sin, and because we sin personally, we all die (Romans 5:12–19).
Yet Jesus, because He was God and He was perfect, became our sacrifice. You see, sin cannot go unpunished. Someone must be punished. Jesus took our place. Instead of us receiving the just reward for our sin, Jesus stepped in and took the punishment for us. He took the wrath. He suffered the penalty.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the creator of all things.
John 1:1-3 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Colossians 1:15-16 ESV
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Scripture tells us that for Christ to have ownership of death, our death, that He Himself had to die in order to dismantle death.
I Corinthians 15:26 ESV
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, ““O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? … But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57).
Brothers and sisters. Today is Easter. It is Resurrection Sunday. Today, billions of people around the world have to come to grips with Jesus. They have to deal with the fact that there is an empty tomb in Jerusalem.
Jesus is alive. If He is alive than we can be alive as well.
We must trust in Christ and obey Him.
Jesus tells us that He is the way the truth and the life and that no one can come to the Father unless it is through Him. Jesus is the bridge that spans our sinfulness. We must walk through Him to enteral life.
Jesus also tells us that if we love Him, we will obey His commands. Our salvation is predicated by our obedience. We must actively follow Him, take up our cross and fix our eyes on Him.
Salvation is offered to every man and woman. Anyone can have it. Romans tells us that all who call upon the Lord will be saved.
Friend, our story, our This Is Us story, started off poorly but today we can praise God for Jesus and His resurrection. Do you want to be the new creation today that Paul promises us that we can be because of Jesus?
Well the story is not over. There is only last “c”.
This Is Us…
Revelation 21:1 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Death has been around a long long time. Sadly, it still has a place in our world. Yet, because of Christ’s death, we do not need to fear death any longer. Yes, we will all physically die, but we will not spiritually die. There is more to this life. So, will there ever be an end to all this suffering? Romans 8 tells us that since Adam’s fall, that all creation has suffered.
The answer is “yes”. The book of Revelation promises that one day Jesus will return. He will call the dead to life and restore order to His creation.
He will make a new heaven and a new earth one day—one which we can’t even begin to imagine (2 Peter 3:13). In this new place there will be no death, no crying, no pain (Revelation 21:4). Nobody will be sad.
As those who have repented and believed in what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we can look forward to this new heaven and earth, knowing we will enjoy God forever in a wonderful place. The corruption that was introduced in the Garden of Eden will be taken away by God, giving us, once again, a perfect place to live!
The question is, are you ready for the return? I would hate for Jesus to show up and our hearts are still shaking our fists at God. God has provided a marvelous way out of punishment and death. Will you give your life to Jesus today?
After hearing our story today, our This Is Us story, would you like to receive salvation? Have you seen how the decisions of the past have influenced our future? If so, calling out to Jesus is easy. Let me help you.
The Sinner’s Prayer
"God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I am connected to Adam’s choice to disobey you and I know that I choose everyday to do the same. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I believe that He is the way the truth and the life and that it is Jesus who can save me. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Lord help me to be obedient to Jesus. Today I declare my love for Him and my desire to obediently follow Him. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!"
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