The Scarlet Thread.
How do you view Scripture? Do you see it as a collection of stories focusing on key figures who honored God? Do you see it as a book of rights and wrongs? Do you see it as one beautiful story of redemption spanning centuries and still impacting our lives today? Seeing the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, as a narrative of the eternal, saving work of the sinless Son of God who is still working in our lives is vital to christian growth. The great preacher and former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Dr. R. G. Lee says this:
“Interwoven in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is a scarlet thread–the story of redemption. Only as we consider that red road do we properly understand the story of man’s sin and the Cross of Christ. Overlook that scarlet thread in your reading of the Bible, ignore its fact in your religious life, remove it from your thought, and you have no Christianity. Without knowledge of that scarlet thread we have no knowledge of the supreme theme of the Bible–and we are ignorant of the full price He paid for human redemption.”Dr. R. G. Lee
When a sweet friend, who knows little about the Bible, approached me and asked me to study the Bible with her I was thrilled. We are going through a chronological study and I’m praying that she begins studying the Bible as a cohesive narrative with a beautiful “scarlet thread” woven throughout.
The scarlet thread begins in Genesis when God created the universe from nothing. After creating the entire universe and all the living things that populate it, God creates man and woman in His own image. The pinnacle of His creation was created to bring Him Glory, to be His representatives made in His likeness. When God’s creation chose to glorify themselves rather than their Creator, the intimacy they shared with God was broken. A sacrifice was required to atone for their sin. God kills an animal (Genesis 3:15) to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. This is the first picture of God’s redeeming sacrifice.
Throughout the Old Testament God’s people offer sacrifices of atonement; Noah, Abraham, Moses and David just to name a few. These sacrifices are a picture of who was to come, a once-and-for-all perfect Sacrifice who died to redeem all humanity: Jesus. By His blood alone, we are redeemed.
As the Israelites ran from God, chose to pursue sin, and refused to repent when confronted with their indiscretion, God remained stable. He punished His people with captivity, but when they finally repented He brought them back. In His mercy, He redeemed them. The imperfect and undeserving Israelites were covered by the redeeming Blood.
Centuries passed as the people waited for the Messiah, who would be the final sacrifice. When Jesus Christ was born as a baby the scarlet thread was woven. He was born in order to die. He lived a perfect life, died a brutal death to atone for our sins, and rose to life three days later defeating sin and death. He is victorious. He is waiting with open arms to offer eternal redemption to each of us. He wants to weave the scarlet thread of scripture into our lives, changing us from the inside out, restoring our relationship with God, and securing our eternal life. Praise God for the scarlet thread of scripture that has changed my life!