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 warned them, “If you eat from that tree 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 their disobedience and threw them out of the garden.
- Interesting: One “small” sin resulted in 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 gave them clothes from animal skin: An animal had to die to cover the sin and shame of Adam and Eve. Interesting, isn’t it?
- God gave this first sacrifice. Later prophets offered sacrifices as well.
- God promised that He would send a special sacrifice for us to save 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 called us to turn away from sin and taught us who God is.
The Lamb of God – the sacrifice for us
- When the prophet John (Yahya) saw Jesus he said, “Look, this is the Lamb of God!”
- Interesting: Jesus prophesied: “I must die, but I will rise again.”
- Jesus was perfect, but some rejected Him. He didn’t resist them and they arrested and killed Him. Jesus died as God’s sacrifice for us.
- 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 your secrets. 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 offers us.
A new life
- We can receive this offer by trusting Jesus. That means we believe in what He said and obey Him: We leave our old life behind and start to live like Jesus lived.
- When we do this, Jesus will cleanse us and restores our connection with God.
- For this, God will give us His Spirit. This “Holy Spirit” is God’s power in us to resist evil, 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”. (A lamb is used as sacrifice.)
- Jesus prophesied His own death.
- Jesus died, but God raised Him to life again just as He had said.
- Jesus was sent by God as a sacrifice for us.
- God wants to give His Spirit to us.