God's Story (first and last sacrifice)
The perfect beginning
- God created the world and the first humans: Adam and Eve (Hawwa)
- He put them into a perfect place: the Garden of Eden. They had the freedom to eat from any tree, with only one exception: God forbade them to eat from one special tree and warned them, “If you eat from it you'll die!”
- Everything was perfect: no death, no shame, they were close to God and had eternal life
Sin and shame came into the world
- Satan came to Eve and tempted her. She and Adam ate the forbidden fruit.
- Immediately they were afraid and felt shame because they realized they were naked, so they covered themselves with leaves and hid from God.
- God punished them for disobedience: He threw them out of the garden, they lost eternal life
- Interesting: Adam and Eve just did one “small“ sin, but the result was big judgment, death and a broken relationship with God.
A covering for sin and shame: new clothes and promised savior
- God still loved them and did something very interesting: He changed their clothes (leaves) and gave them new clothes from animal skin.
- An animal had to die to cover the sin and shame of Adam and Eve.
- God gave this first sacrifice. Later other prophets offered sacrifices: Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), David (Dawud), …
- God promised that He would send a special sacrifice for us.
- Prophets told details about this coming savior, the “Messiah”: He will overcome sin and shame and show us how to come close to God again.
Jesus, the Messiah (Isa Masih)
- Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary (Meryem). He was called “Messiah” and “Word of God”.
- He loved people, never sinned, never killed anyone and never gathered riches.
- He did great miracles: healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead
- He taught how God wants us to live: We need to turn away from bad ways and do what is good in God's eyes.
- Interesting: When He was still young He prophesied: “I must die, but I will rise again.”
- The prophet John (Yahya) saw him and said, “Look, this is the Lamb of God!” (That is interesting, isn’t it? A lamb is used as sacrifice.)
The sacrifice for us
- Jesus was perfect, but some didn't like what He said and did. His enemies arrested Him and killed Him. He didn't resist them and died as God's sacrifice for you and me.
- God raised Him three days later just as Jesus promised before!
- There is now a way for our sins to be forgiven: We need to trust Jesus that He paid for our disobedience through His sacrifice and that God raised Him from the dead.
- When we do this, God gives us eternal life. He gives us the honor to be in His kingdom and we will be with Him even when we die.
- God wants us to live a perfect life and follow the example of Jesus. But on our own we can't do so. We fail again and again.
- We need help from God. He wants to give us His Spirit to change us.
- This “Holy Spirit” is God's power for us, to teach us God's will, to help us be good people and to resist Satan.
- God will give the gift of His Spirit to everyone who wants it.
That is interesting, isn't it?
- Adam and Eve were given the death penalty even though they only did one sin.
- God changed their clothes through a sacrifice.
- Jesus was called the “Lamb of God”.
- Jesus prophesied His own death.
- Jesus died, but God raised Him three days later just as He had said before.
- Jesus was sent by God as a sacrifice for us.
- God wants to give His Spirit to us.