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“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:18,19).

IF THE GOSPEL IS THE “GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD,” IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE THAT THE STORY HAS A PLOT OR STORY LINE. In essence, the gospel is about something being repaired that had been ruined. What makes it the greatest of all stories is that God is the Repairer, and we, His creatures, are those being repaired.

Perfection. When He had finished creating the world, God “saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). It was a perfect creation, and human beings were the pinnacle of its perfection. They were personal beings, made in God’s image and blessed with abilities far beyond any other creatures in this world (Genesis 1:26,27). We can only imagine the joy of Adam and Eve’s perfection — unspoiled by any disobedience, rebellion, alienation, or estrangement. With everything perfectly connected, Creator and creation were a symphony of goodness.

Corruption. Tragically, the creation was broken when Adam and Eve yielded to the tempter (Genesis 3:1–24). Disregarding the will of God, their Creator, they went against what they knew He had commanded them — and when they did, they discovered the horrors of “death” and separation from God. What had been beautiful was now ugly. What had been joyful was now dreadful. What had been perfect was now corrupt. And like Paul many centuries later, Adam might have cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).

Restoration. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the story of God continuing to write the story of the human race. Although He might have let justice run its course, God was not willing to leave us in our hopeless condition. If we had ruined the perfection He had created us to enjoy, He would allow us to come back to Him — even if it meant taking upon Himself the punishment for our sin. For those willing to accept this restoration, the “glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18) is a hope beyond all hopes. For those reconciled to God in Jesus Christ, the best is yet to come.

Jesus is risen! he shall the world restore!
Awake, ye dead! dull sinners, sleep no more!
(John Wesley)

Gary Henry — +

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