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 sickness, no death, no shame and they were close to God.
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 and threw them out of the garden.
- 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 a 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 prophets offered sacrifices as well.
- God promised that He would send a special sacrifice for us.
- Prophets told in more detail about this promised 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 (Maryam). 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 us how God wants us to live: We need to turn away from sin and do what is good in God’s eyes.
The sacrifice for us
- Interesting: When Jesus 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.)
- 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.
- But God raised Him to life again, just as Jesus had promised before!
We need a sacrifice
- Imagine that someone could make a video clip with all your sins and shame, including all your dirty thoughts and all the situations where you thought nobody was watching. How would you feel if that came to light and others could see the video clip?
- God doesn’t ignore these things and the consequences are punishment and death.
- We need a sacrifice to pay for our sin and cover our shame. This is what Jesus wants to provide for us.
A new life
- We can receive this offer by trusting Jesus and turning away from all our sin.
- But we must realize that this decision has consequences. It means leaving our old life behind and starting to live like Jesus lived.
- When we do this, Jesus will cleanse us and restore us.
- In addition, God will give us His Spirit. This “Holy Spirit” is God’s power for us to resist Satan, to teach us what God wants, and to be able to live like Jesus.
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.