Occasionally authors give us bookends to let us know what a book is about. Bookends are passages at the beginning and end of a book that state and restate the central theme of the book and give meaning to what lies between. I have written about the bookends of Matthew’s gospel.
Does the Bible have bookends that give us a sense of the unity that holds all its books together? I think it does.
The Bible is a book and a collection of books.
There is diversity in the Scriptures. It was written over a period of 1500 years. The authors wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. They were prophets, priests, kings, apostles and others. They were urban and rural, educated and not, upper class and not, the powerful and those who preached against the powerful.
There is also a unity in the Scripture. The Holy Spirit who inspired these writers is a unifying author as well.
The Bible’s bookends
In the first three chapters of Genesis we see themes that are developed throughout Scripture. There is initial intimacy with God. Satan is introduced as the source of temptation. We see human disobedience followed by shame and the broken relationships and blame. God gives the promise that there will be a solution in the seed of the woman who will crush the serpent. (Genesis 1-3)
In the last two chapter of Revelation we see that God will live with humanity. Satan and those who follow him are banished from the eternal kingdom. God will wipe away every tear. Shame will disappear. Relationship will be restored. The seed of Eve, Jesus, is central to the story. He is the one who provides the remedy for the brokenness and evil in the world. (Revelation 21-22)
Ezekiel closed his prophecy stating that the name of the eternal city would be “The Lord is there.” (Ezekiel 48:35)
We live in between
We live between Genesis and Revelation. We have aspirations and failures. We are imperfect, finite and struggle with evil, shame and broken relationships. We look forward to ultimate restoration.
What are the biggest struggles in your life that you know will vanish in the eternal kingdom?
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