A Call to Preserve Our Own History on the 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen

Coming back into work today I heard a story on NPR about the 25th anniversary of the events surrounding Tiananmen Square. The host was interviewing a journalist in China who was showing the famous photo from the protests to students and it seemed that more had never seen the photo than those who had. The way it was worded during the radio segment was that in China, “amnesia is a state sponsored sport.”

China has not wanted people to know parts of its past and so it has worked hard to conceal and erase history. What is amazing is that this isn’t an event from centuries ago. It isn’t a matter of destroying the records. People are alive now who were alive then. But the past is still allowed to slip away.

While we weren’t alive when the events described in the Bible took place, they are still of the utmost importance to us. God has gone to great lengths to have it recorded, preserved, and passed on through generations so that we would receive the book we have today. It is our history and it is our story. He has given us the Bible for a reason. We can’t let it slip away. We need to commit ourselves to knowing the story God has given us and make sure we remain vigilant in continuing our lives that are now, amazingly, also a part of that story.

God is not done yet for he is still active. But it helps to know where we’ve been in order to know where we’re going.

Preaching on the Story of God and His People Throughout the Bible

I’m not sure whether this will encourage you to check out this coming Sunday’s sermon or do the opposite, but my intent for Palm Sunday is to preach on the whole Bible. On that day we should be done with Year in the Bible and how else should we cap off the year but by looking back on it all?

There are different ways to preach on God’s history with his people. Many confessions follow a fall, redemption, gratitude pattern. Since it will be Palm Sunday where we look at Christ’s triumphal entry, I wanted to lift up the kingship of Jesus Christ–what that means and how that is a fulfillment.

So that is what’s in store for Sunday. The only other wrinkle is that I didn’t want to preach about what is in the Bible. I want to preach using scripture. I want to do so using as much of the text that I could. Here is an outline and the references for what (at this point, at least) I’ve come up with:

Creation, Call, and Covenant

Genesis 1:1
Colossians 1:16-17
Genesis 1:26-28
Genesis 2:16-17
Genesis 3:1-4
Ephesians 1:4-5
Genesis 3:15
1 Corinthians 15:24-25
Galatians 4:4-5
Genesis 11:4
1 Corinthians 1:27
Genesis 12:1
Genesis 22:2
Genesis 22:7-8
Genesis 22:14
Exodus 1:8-9
Exodus 6:7
Lamentations 3:22-23
Exodus 15:1-2

Pattern of Disobedience and Deliverance

Numbers 14:2.4
Revelation 3:19
Joshua 1:5
Psalm 73:26
Deuteronomy 9:6-7
Leviticus 26:11
Ezekiel 37:28
Isaiah 5:6
Isaiah 33:14
Psalm 106:19-22
Romans 1:25
Psalms 120:6
Psalm 51:4
Hosea 1:2
Hosea 11:8-9
Judges 17:6
1 Samuel 8:19-20
Psalm 4:3
Jeremiah 11:10
Amos 7:11
2 Chronicles 30:10
Galatians 1:6
Psalm 136:1
Joel 2:25

God’s Great Intent Fulfilled in Christ

Romans 8:21-23
Ephesians 1:10
Galatians 4:4
Mark 1:14
Matthew 1:23
John 1:14
Matthew 5:17
Hebrews 9:26
Hebrews 8:5
Colossians 2:17
Luke 24:27

Christ the Victorious King

Matthew 2:2
Revelation 19:16
Hebrews 2:9
Romans 5:8
Galatians 3:13
Ephesians 2:4
Titus 3:5
Romans 5:6-7
Mark 15:32
Acts 2:32-33
Romans 5:17
Joshua 24:15
Romans 10:9
Daniel 7:27
1 Peter 2:4
Colossians 1:17-18
Galatians 3:29
Romans 8:17
Hebrews 7:26
2 Corinthians 1:20
2 Timothy 2:3,8
Acts 7:55-56
2 Timothy 2:10
Colossians 2:14
Revelation 11:15

Awaiting His Return

Philippians 1:20-21
2 Timothy 1:9
John 16:33
Revelation 21:6
Revelation 21:1-5
Revelation 21:22
Revelation 21:25
Isaiah 60:11
Romans 8:1
Romans 8:22-23
Luke 19:38

Aids for Knowing the Story of the Gospel

As I mentioned last week in talking about 1 Peter, we ought to be able to give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ. If what we believe is important, we should be able to tell others about it. We should know the gospel.

We talked about this in a class recently and at one point I put together a review of most of the weeks. It served as a reminder to jog our memories, but it will also work as a good cheat sheet in learning some short, clear descriptions of what Jesus has done for us.

Here’s a quick summary of what is included on the attached PDF. We talked about how Christ is our sacrificial lamb (1) and our passover (2). He brings life to us, undoing the death brought about by Adam (3). While evil was done to him, like Joseph, he worked in the situation to bring life to us (4). Then lastly, in reference to Moses lifting up a bronze snake that brought healing for all who looked on it, Jesus gives eternal life for all who look upon him (5).

Each of these has a picture to help us remember. Some are more straightforward, like a sheep in the bushes reminding us of Abraham and Isaac. Others are more of the “you had to be there” variety. But again, let me summarize quickly.

We have a picture of the door with the blood placed on it as passover, then next to it the cross laid over it, showing the blood of Christ that now saves us.

The third picture is to represent how in Adam, his sin at the tree brought death to all. Then in Christ, the “Second Adam”, which you read through from left to right, but this time include the two items inserted with a carrot, went to the tree (the cross) and died for us, bring life to us.

The fourth picture represent how Joseph and Jesus both left their father’s house, suffered injustice, were thrown into a pit (the grave in Jesus case), but then through those events saved others (life preserver).

Lastly we have the snake that brought death, then the bronze snake that when looked upon brought life, just as our sin (missing the mark) brings death, but looking to Christ brings us eternal life.

Hope this helps. If you still are left scratching your head about these, let me know and maybe I can help.

 

Five stories of Jesus we should be able to tell. (Click for full-size PDF)