Do you understand how amazing the Bible is? Do you appreciate what this book contains? In the publication of this “Books of books,” God used about 40 different authors living on three continents over a period of approximately 1,500 years. These men used three different languages to compose 66 books that were eventually bound into one volume and translated into thousands of languages spoken by people virtually everywhere on earth. These facts alone make it a remarkable book and worthy of historical and literary study; but that which makes this book most extraordinary is the nature of its single consistent message.
Yes, despite being written by men of such varied backgrounds as shepherd, fisherman, tax collector, Jewish priest, military commander, physician, rabbi and tentmaker, it is a book with one underlying theme: God wants to save you from your sins and has provided the means for doing it.
In the books comprising what we know as the Old Testament or Covenant, there is a recurring theme that a Savior is coming. He is a Savior who will break the power of Satan, spring from the Jewish tribe of Judah, reign as king and priest, suffer death and rise again, bringing forgiveness and blessings to all nations. His life and work will, according to this “one message,” unite people of every racial, national and cultural group, and do many other things for our benefit.
Then the New Testament/Covenant opens with the announcement that the one who would “save his people from their sins” was to be born. The long-awaited Savior was born in a small town in ancient Judea, and for about 33 years, he lived among men, teaching and healing, caring and correcting. But in the end, he had to do that which had been predetermined before the foundation of the world: the glorious Savior, the Son of God, was put to death in a most brutal fashion on a Roman cross. As the Bible tells the story of this gross miscarriage of justice, it makes clear that it was far more than just another story of the legal system gone wrong; indeed, in his own words, this Savior died willingly to give himself as a ransom, or payment, to make salvation possible. The wages of sin had always been death, and Jesus had died for all mankind.
While the crucifixion of the Christ is clearly the climax of God’s book, the New Testament does not end with the tragedy of the cross, but goes on to tell of the Savior conquering death by rising from the grave on the third day. Then 40 days later, he triumphantly left to go back to the Father from whom he had come. From that point forward, the New Testament becomes the story of how the work of the Savior can benefit each of us. You see, a vital part of the one message is that, though he died for all, unless we respond to his gracious gift in true, obedient faith, repentance and baptism, we cannot benefit by that death.
Have you come to know this remarkable book and its one great message of salvation? Will you follow it as your guide in this life as you travel toward eternity?