Last week I wrote that we have experienced an epic fail regarding our roles as ambassadors for the Creator to the creation. We rebelled and separated ourselves. We lost our way and began a corrupting process that led to shame and guilt (the first sin was Adam’s silence followed quickly by fratricide, that’s one heck of a spiral).
The story though is just beginning. Thankfully we are not the heroes or the centerpieces of this story. A good story needs a hero who desires something and overcomes conflict to get it.
The story that I am talking about has a hero, God. He wants something, relationship with people. So, what is he doing to get it? That’s the question I want look at.
It started in Genesis 3:
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
(Genesis 3:21 ESV)
If you look a few verses earlier you see that Adam and Eve were experiencing shame from being naked. So, God, kills a few animals and gives them clothes.
Shame is removed. A glimmer.
As time goes on humanity continues to go it’s own way. Through Abraham God calls out a people to be his own, the Hebrews. To these folks he gives the Law.
Have you ever read it? It’s remarkable. It’s merciful, gracious, and loving. Paul says it this way,
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
(Galatians 3:19–20 ESV)
It was an overseer. The law watched over God’s people leading them to him. If they would just follow it they would see him and know him.
What will God do? He sends his son…
“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. (Matthew 21:33–46 ESV)
It didn’t go well for the son.
Thankfully that’s not the end of the story. The death of the son changed everything. It opened a way for humanity to finally become, well, human.