In the beginning, God created the earth. He made beauty and order out of chaos and darkness, and made life. The Creator made these wonderful creatures in His own image; He called them Humans. These Humans were made custodians over the earth. They were made to reflect God’s rule over the earth. God blessed these Humans to be fruitful and multiply the earth.
Now these rulers were granted a choice by means of a tree called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. So far, God has been calling the shots on what is good and not good (Evil). When He did so, everything was good and beautiful. When He did so, there was LIFE.
He then gave humans a choice. Would they continue trusting Him to call the shots? Or will they seize this knowledge to define good and evil for themselves? Well, they chose the latter. They had help doing so. Help from a serpent who symbolized all of evil and rebellion against God and His good world.
As a result, God’s rule through humans got usurped. And these custodians (without God’s rule) turned God’s good world, bad. Everybody did what is good in their own eyes at the expense of others.
The ancient biblical Hebrew concept behind the word sin (khata) is to fail or to miss the mark. That is what happened to the humans. They failed at fulfilling their assignment as the image of God. They didn’t reflect God’s rule to the earth; they reflected theirs – each with their own opinion of what is only good for themselves (most times). And this sin has taken root within them on the inside. It has become a part of who they are.
However, God did not leave his good creation to perish in chaos. He loved his good world so much. So He gave a prophecy – a word of hope to creation. Here it is:
“I am declaring war between you (the Serpent) and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He will wound your head, you will wound his knee.”Genesis 3:15
A human will arise born of a woman who will crush the head of this Serpent and put an end to evil. However, the way he will accomplish that is to be wounded, thus bitten on the heel by this being of evil. Who is this human that will bring back God’s rule over all creation and put an end to all evil?
He will definitely not be like the others. A new human fulfilling the true purpose of being God’s image is needed. This human will rule the earth by reflecting the Creator’s life, love and goodness. Now how will that take place?
The Call of Abraham
God moved this restoration project into second gear by choosing man named Abraham (by then Abram). He instructed Abram to come out of his land and follow Him. God blessed him and his descendants that through them, God will bless the whole world.
Remember that blessing? The same one He blessed humans when He made them.
The Call of Jacob
Jacob was the grandson of Abraham. God called him while he slept on his way fleeing after he deceived his father and elder twin brother.
God blessed him with the same blessing He gave Abraham.
“Your descendants will be as the dust of the earth. They will stretch from west to east and from North to South. All the families of the earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.” Genesis 28:14
A King From Judah
The project became clearer when Jacob (now Israel) was about to die. He called his kids and blessed them. From this blessing he prophesied that through his son Judah a King will rise up that will rule all nations.
“The scepter shall now leave Judah; he shall keep a firm grip on the command staff until the ultimate ruler comes and the nations obey him.” (Genesis 49:10)
A snippet of hope was revealed that God’s rule is coming back through this king ruling all nations and making them in turn a reflection of God’s rule, love, life and goodness to the rest of creation.
Is King David The One?
The descendants of Jacob grew to be a great nation called Israel. Then finally along the lines of history, a great king from Judah showed up – a man after God’s heart. His name was David. Everyone thought he was the one called to reflect God’s rule the over nations. However, he too messed up. He gave in to the evil – that serpent. He committed adultery with his soldier’s wife and killed him to cover it up. He regretted his deeds but it still remains the fact that he wasn’t the that offspring of the Woman – that king from Judah.
However God assured David with another snippet into His plans. That that the long awaited King from the beginning will rise out of his dynasty.
The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.2 Samuel 7:11-13
Sadly, the descendant kings from David gave in to that same evil from the Serpent. They gave in to the pleasure of greed towards money, sex, and power. Theu even worshipped other gods.
None represented God’s rule as the true image. These kings not only followed their selfish desires, they led the nation into idolatry which got them banished from their own land.
It seemed as if all hope was lost during these moments. But God still kept the hope alive. He did that through his prophets. They kept telling the people about the promised Messiah (which means the anointed one) who will save Israel as it’s king and extend the Creator’s good rule to the nations. One particular prophet who gave more information about this Messiah was the man named Isaiah.
He spoke about this anointed person (Messiah) who would set his people free from the effects of evil (Isaiah 62:1-2). Then He also spoke of this king who would be bruised just like God mentioned in Genesis 3. This time he is bruised from the evil of all of humanity. This evil kills him. But then suddenly, this King rises and emerges victorious. Strange scene (Isaiah 53).
Jesus the Messiah
After many centuries of waiting for this promised Messiah, Jesus showed up. He was from the line of David, tribe of Judah, descendant of Abraham, and an offspring of the Woman promised by God to Adam and the Woman (later called Eve).
He went about announcing the good news of God’s kingdom (rule) and exhibiting what God’s rule looks like – doing good, expressing selfless love, and saving people from the effects of evil and death such as healing diseases, casting out oppressive demons, and raising the dead. Cool!
The Messiah had arrived. Jesus announced that when he participated in the public reading of Scripture in the synagogue. He read the same text in Isaiah 61:1-2 and declared that he was that anointed person. Yes, he was.
Peter revealed who he was through the inspiration of the Spirit. He was the Messiah (Christ), the son of the Living God.
Side note: Christ is not Jesus’s surname. Christ is the one known English derivation of the Greek word Kristos which meant “the Anointed One.” That is exactly what Messiah means. Messiah is the Hebrew term for that same phrase. In Jesus’ day and that of the early apostles, he wasn’t called Jesus Christ (as we do know). He was referred as Jesus the Messiah. He was the promised Messiah of God.
Many Jews in his day, especially the common folk, believed him to be the long awaited Messiah. Up until he was crucified. Then they lost hope. Because they thought he would rise up an army and them from the Romans. That didn’t happen.
Jesus came to fulfil the Scriptures. Like God said in the book of Genesis and through Isaiah’s prophecy, the Messiah was to be bruised by the Serpent – which was the orchestrator and embodiment of all evil. Evil gave Jesus it’s best shot in the grave. It bit him on the heel with its most deadly poison.
However, it was through this bruising that Jesus emerged victorious. He bruised the head of the Serpent, defeating it for good by taking all the shots of humanity evil into himself through the cross.
There on that cross, the project of restoring God’s reign – life and goodness completely taking over the earth took a huge turn. Jesus resurrected as a new human victorious over the Sin and death and made that life available to all humanity.
He reigns as king over all creation, and now His rule is spreading rapidly, changing lives one at a time. Those who believe in Him are transformed into thus new humans, empowered by God’s Spirit to extend His rule by announcing the good news of what God has done in and through Jesus.
These people, just like Jesus, reflect God’s rule distributing His love, goodness and life to all around them. Many call them “Christians,” which means the Anointed-Ones or Messiahs just like Jesus. These are the first fruits of the new humans who will fulfill their assignment as the blessed image of God, trusting the Creator on what is good and evil as they gradually extend the reality of God’s rule to all. Are you one of them?
This one word you may have heard time and time again, referring to Jesus. If you haven’t, what about the word “CHRIST?” If you want to know how that came to be, then enjoy this story.