Deliver Us

As The Story of Love continues, it is clear why it is the greatest story ever told. The cast of characters, the drama, the intrigue–the passion, the romance, the heartbreak–all of it combines to show the incredible lengths the Creator would go to remind His creation of His love.  His chosen people, captives and slaves to a hostile king far from their Promised Land, beg for deliverance from Egypt.

Part Three: We Need a Savior

The Creator does just as they ask, but in the most unexpected way.  He sends a murderer, a tongue-tied former prince with a story of a bush that didn’t burn up and a conversation with One who claimed He was and is and would always be.  And the story only gets better from there.

The Red Sea splits in two, the sun doesn’t set, and a man with incredible strength brings down a temple.  Jericho crumbles and three hundred men defeat thousands.  A shepherd kills a lion and a bear after writing a couple songs, but comes into his own in a confrontation with a giant. The shepherd becomes a king and his son gains a reputation as the wisest man ever known.  And with every great moment in the story, they ask, “When? Will the promise be fulfilled now?”  And God says, “Not yet.  Soon.”

But it isn’t soon enough for the impatience of humanity.  No matter how many times the Creator reveals His wonders, the creation rebels.  After a quick moment of thankfulness, the people return to wickedness and reject the very ones He sends to remind them of His goodness.  No matter how awful their rebellion, no matter how great their rejection of His love, the Creator will not stop.

His pursuit is His passion, and He will not stop until the ones He loves are free.

But, His prophets are ignored or murdered.  The people are carted off into slavery and bondage once more, and still the people cry, “When? When will the promised one come?”  Even after they return to the land of their heritage–the land given to Abraham and ruled over by David–they are captives.  This time, in their own land, the Romans rule over them.  Now, more than ever, they shout: “We need a Savior to come in glory and power! O Lord, hear our cry, because you know we need Him now!”

Now.

After thousands of years of saying “Wait,” the Creator finally looks at His creation and says, “Now.”  The relationship that was broken with a bite of fruit can be restored.  The promise given on the very day death entered the world will be fulfilled.  But it will not be what creation expects.

God becomes a man.

The Creator physically steps into creation.  You probably have heard about His birthday. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  Angels announce His arrival, shepherds are the first visitors, and wise men bring the birthday gifts.

The baby, named Jesus, grows up.  He is raised by a carpenter and his wife in a dusty village in Judea.  In an act that is nearly unfathomable by us, the One who created us becomes one of us.  He disguises Himself in our physical attributes, with a body that grows weary, a stomach that needs to eat.  So great is His desire for us to know His love, He walks through our world nearly invisible.

He tells stories about the kingdom of heaven and points out injustice and cruelty.  The One who painted the stripes on the zebra can’t contain Himself, though, and occasionally throws out His own wonders.  He brings a dead girl back to life and tells a storm to stop.  He walks across an inland sea and uses a boy’s lunch to feed a crowd.

The savior who had been promised arrives.  The common people love him.  He treats everyone with courtesy, kindness, and compassion.  His sense of humor is infectious and He’s not above a little sarcasm to get His point across.  They follow in droves, hoping that He will indeed deliver them from the Romans, and give them back their land.

Others see Him as a threat and a bother.  As His popularity grows, so does their worry.  Whether from self-preservation or from bitterness, the ruling class decides He must be removed and begin to figure out how to do it.

What they don’t realize is this is the way the story was already written.  Because this is not a story of revenge or political intrigue.

Remember, it’s a story of love.

Terrible, incredible, beautiful, and unfailing love.

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