What is the theme which is carried all through the Bible? One of them is the blood. From the time that God had to shed the blood of two animals in order to create garments for Adam and Eve, through Abraham’s time where God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac, blood was always being shed in some form or another. Later, in Egypt, a lamb was sacrificed in order to anoint the door posts with its blood so that the angel of death would pass over the house of each Israelite. The covenant of circumcision also required the shedding of blood and then later, when Jesus was convicted of doing nothing more than telling the people how they could know God and come into His Presence, His blood was shed during the scourging and then on the cross itself.
In many ways, people in the world today reject our beliefs because they call it “a bloody religion”. What about all the children and parents and grandparents that have been killed by the “religion of peace” in our time? What about the blood that they have spilled? I would call that a bloody religion too, wouldn’t you? It is true that blood has been shed all through the Bible, but what about other themes and requirements?
The most prevalent one that comes to mind that I have seen from the beginning to the end of God’s Word is obedience. All that God ever asked and required of those that He called His was obedience, to His laws and to Him. Starting in the Garden and in every book from that point on, He asked certain people to do as He asked them to. Sometimes, they obeyed but many times they did not. Even before the Israelites had a king over them, as soon as they were delivered from bondage or trouble they would revert back to worshiping other gods and refusing to obey their God.
Even Moses, during the exodus from Egypt, disobeyed God by striking the rock when God had told him to speak to it for water. True, the first time God had said to strike the rock and Moses did, but the second time he was supposed to speak to it and his anger caused him to strike the rock instead. Then, when Israel asked for a king, God gave them one but the first one didn’t obey God like he should have so his kingdom was taken from him. David did as God told him to do, but even he disobeyed God in some things but at least he repented of his sins and asked for forgiveness.
After David’s reign, Solomon did follow God and did as God instructed him for a while, but his wives led him astray to worship other gods in his old age. After his reign, very few of the kings which followed would worship God or do as the prophets told them to do. Many of them desecrated the Temple with strange gods and killed the prophets. Why would God be merciful to a people, even those of us over the whole Earth, when most of us have refused to obey Him and His laws or even to follow His Son?
The next theme which flows all the way through the Bible, from the beginning to the end, is His love for us. He, the Creator of all things, LOVES us! Even when we don’t like or even believe in Him!!
God loves us today, each one of us, enough that He sent Jesus to die so that we could have a relationship with Him. He wants that. He doesn’t need it. God has never needed us, nor does He need the angels in heaven, but He wants a relationship with His Creation, all of Creation. That is why Lucifer rebelled against Him, because he didn’t want the relationship from that point, he wanted to be on the receiving end of the adoration and the love but he didn’t want to give it to Creation or the Creator.
In many ways, we are rebelling today because we want to get the love but we don’t want to be required to give it. You know what? You aren’t required to love God at all!! But, when you realize what He really did for you so that you have the choice and the ability to love and be loved by the Creator, then you actually do want to! If you can’t make that leap into God’s lap as you would into your dad’s or your mom’s lap, then you will miss out on it. You will miss out on the true, loving, whole relationship with God, the Trinity of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a feeling which cannot be described to anyone who hasn’t felt it.
The closest way to describe it from me to you would be how a mother or a father feels when they hold their first child for the very first time. If you can imagine being the recipient of that love and then multiply it thousands of times to the point of it overwhelming you….that is what it has felt like to me at times. It is a feeling which can’t be described because the actual feeling is beyond description. Similar to the problem of telling someone what the color blue is or maybe the color purple. If they have never seen it, you just can’t tell them about it at all.
Until you can get into the Word of God and come close enough to Him that you can feel His Presence, then I can’t describe it at all. Then, consider that the river of Life runs through Heaven and it is like liquid joy!
You know, I started this sermon off talking about the blood, then I spoke about obedience, then lastly there is Love, and just as first Corinthians says that “the greatest of these is LOVE”. It really is True! Love is the reason for all of this, your life and mine as well as for Jesus coming and dying on the cross and being resurrected. God’s Love for us! The least that we could do would be to give back some of that Love to Him in the form of our life and our love because He loved us first, isn’t that a wonderful way to look at Easter?