Over the past several weeks, we have discussed a range of topics centering in our essential nature, our relationship to God, how that relationship was broken, and what God did to clean up the mess we made. The reason the history of our world means so much to me now is that all of the above major concerns are bound up in a historical setting culminating in Jesus of Nazareth. As Allen Webster put it, "History is 'His story'-- and 'His story' is the central theme in all Scripture." The theme of the Bible from cover to cover is the coming of Christ to save fallen man from his sins. All of this took place in the real world as Paul once said of King Agrippa concerning the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, "...I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:26)".
This event is the single most important event in the history of the world. It was done "...by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God..." (Acts 2:23). It was "...foreordained before the foundation of the world..." (1 Pet. 1:20). The value of this event for mankind is "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace..." (Eph. 1:7). Truly, if we rip this particular event out of the annals of history, human existence becomes exactly what the prophets of Darwin are trumpeting to the world: empty, hopeless, and meaningless.
This event is the fulfillment of the promises of God beginning in Genesis 3:15 and running through the entire Bible. Throughout biblical history, we see God working with people through covenant relationships. God drafted and initiated covenants to enable fallen man to be restored to the fellowship we lost with Him through sin. Each covenant in Scripture builds towards the culmination of God's plan to gather back in His loving arms those who once rebelled but were willing to return by virtue of the stipulations He gave in their particular covenant. Through the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David God steadily narrowed the scope of His redemptive work.
What began as a generic promise to defeat man's enemy in Genesis 3:15 was steadily refined to one man, Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3), through whom would come a chosen nation, Israel. Out of Israel would rise a noble king, David, from whom would descend the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15). This King would usher in the eternal covenant in His blood (Mt. 26:28; Heb. 13:20) and thereby would fully and finally crush Satan under the feet of His people (Rom. 16:20). With this in mind, a careful look at the history of the world proves beyond any reasonable doubt that "...the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses" (Dan. 4:25). Therefore "...those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isa. 40:31).