Though the Bible is composed of sixty-six books, there is a central theme from beginning to end. It is God’s predetermined redemption of sinful man through the shed blood of his son Jesus Christ.
It all began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve exercised their will over God’s instructions. They disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit. God quizzed them as to their behavior and as a result they were forced to assume responsibility for their actions. Because there was another tree in the garden called the tree of life, they had to be expelled from the idyllic life they once had so they would not partake of that tree. Angelic guards were placed at the entrance to the garden for their own safety.
As early as Genesis 3:15 God gave them the promise of a Redeemer who would sacrifice his life for their sin. While still in the garden, God clothed Adam and Eve’s nakedness with animal skin. From then on, the precedent to maintain any type of a relationship with God was through the shedding of blood. Because Cain did not shed blood for a sacrifice, but brought vegetables as a sacrifice, God was not pleased. In jealousy Cain slew his brother Abel who did bring a blood sacrifice.
Through the entire Old Testament, a blood sacrifice was expected from mankind. God told Moses to write the instructions for sacrifices and the establishment of their priesthood.
In the Old and New Testament God declared that faithfulness had a higher value than blood. Unfortunately, the Hebrew children were never consistently faithful.
From the garden of Eden and throughout thousands of years the issue was the need for a perfect sacrifice to be made for sinful man.
Adam and Eve exercised their free will to obey or not to obey God in the garden. It was at that point of disobedience that man demonstrated choice. As the newly created humans, Adam and Eve did not have in their history a determination imposed upon them to obey or not to obey. It was their choice to submit to the God and Creator of all that was.
Today for a person to be an authentic, Christian as the Bible (Romans 10) tells us, it is impossible to be a Child of God if they do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, The Lord of their life, request God to forgive them of the sins committed and having a sinful nature. It is impossible to be a Christian and not recognize the literal physical resurrection of Jesus from the grave after being dead three days. Why are these prerequisites so important? Without such a commitment, the person is relying on their own goodness when they face eternity. To do this the person ignores what Jesus did in our behave.
Because God is sovereign, he established a means of redemption for all of mankind before there was a mankind. The issue was never in question how sovereign God was. However, it did take the sovereignty of God to create the plan of salvation by the shed blood of his son. There always was from Genesis 3:15 a desire on God’s part that mankind could choose his eternal destiny.
What was of supreme importance was that God’s son would need a human body in which to reside and suffer unto death on the cross. God did not die, but the body in which Jesus resided did die.
To accomplish God’s plan a man and his descendants were selected to become his chosen people. They were not chosen because they themselves were special. They were chosen as a nation to provide a righteous virgin who would give birth to the body in which Jesus would reside. She was told that the Holy Spirit would come upon her as a virgin, and she would conceive this body for Christ. He would be the Messiah for the Jews, his people, and that of the entire world.
Again, I remind you that God originated the Hebrew family that would become the Israelites. From this nation was born Jesus. The leaders of this nation at that time with the aid of the Romans crucified Jesus for our sins. As the sovereign God, he had the choice of leaving humanity in their sinful state for all eternity. As the sovereign God, he also had the choice to prepare a plan through which anyone who believed in the Messiah and asked to be forgiven could have a relationship reestablished with him. (John 3:16)
The determination for a person’s destiny of heaven or hell is (according to John chapter 3) their own responsibility. If they do not believe in Christ and his sacrificial work, they would bring condemnation on themselves. They would judge themselves whether they would go to heaven or hell. It was unnecessary for God to make such a determination. By their lack of faith, they would bring that on themselves.
Throughout the Bible there is a scarlet thread for salvation by shed blood. The blood was first from animals, but only the blood of Christ as the perfect man would there be a sufficient means to fulfill a promise of eternal life. Have you accepted and lived out that promise?