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Originally published in Creation 23, no 1 (December 2000): 32-35.
'The Seven C's' of History (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation) help us remember the big events which have affected, and will affect, the history of the universe
Christ Jesus... who being in the form of God...was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:5-8
Our first 'parent', Adam, did not lead the perfect life he should have. He disobeyed his Creator's command not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of God's judgement on this one act of rebellion, the entire creation, which was originally perfect (Gen. 1:31), became subject to death and corruption. Because of Adam's sin, and because we sin personally, we all die (Romans 5:12-19).
About 4,000 years after Adam disobeyed, God sent the perfect sacrifice, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, to take away the sin of the world, fulfilling the promise God made in Genesis 3:15. Jesus is called the 'Last Adam' in 1 Corinthians 15:45, and He came to restore the fellowship with the Creator that was broken by Adam's sin.
Adam disobeyed God's command not to eat the forbidden fruit; Jesus fulfilled the Creator's purpose that He die for the sin of the world.
The First Adam brought death into the world through his disobedience; the Last Adam (Jesus Christ) brought eternal life with God through His obedience (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Because God is perfectly holy, He must punish sinóeither the sinner himself, or a substitute to bear His wrath.
God Himself made the first sacrifice for sin by killing an animal (this was the first death in God's creation) after Adam disobeyed (Genesis 3:21). But now, we should not offer animal sacrifices for sin any more. This is because the Lamb of God (John 1:29, Revelation 5:12) was sacrificed once for all (Hebrews 7:27). Jesus bore God's wrath on our sin by dying in our place (Isaiah 53:6). So all those who believe in Him will be saved from the ultimate penalty for sin (eternal separation from God), and will live with Him forever.
But Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3, Col. 1:15-16), was not defeated by death. He rose three days after He was crucified, showing that He has power over all things, including death, the 'last enemy' (1 Cor. 15:26)!
This is why the Apostle Paul says, 'O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? . . . But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).
When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and understand what He has done for us, we pass from death into life (John 5:24). The names of those who receive Him are written in the Lamb's book of Life (Rev. 13:8, 17:8)ówhen they die, they will go to be with Him forever (John 3:16)!
About 2,000 years ago, some nations, such as the Romans, Persians and Phoenicians, executed many hundreds of criminals by nailing or strapping them to a rough, wooden pole or cross, and left them to die slowly and painfully. This was one of the worst causes of death possible, so was normally used for the lowest of criminals, slaves and traitors. The victim was often flogged, stripped and made to carry a part of the cross to the place of execution, passing by crowds of people who mocked and teased him.
The earthly life of one person who suffered this death is recorded in four main books written in the first century ad, and is mentioned in other historical accounts (such as the writings of Josephus and Tacitus) as well. Guided by the Holy Spirit, four Jewish men (Matthew, a tax collector; John Mark, a student of the Apostle Peter; Luke, a doctor; and John, a fisherman) wrote about the life of the man known as Jesus the Messiah. The difference between Jesus and the hundreds of others who died on the cross is that He was completely God and completely man. He did not deserve to be crucified (He lived a perfect life) and He did not stay in the grave. Three days after He was buried, He rose from the deadóHis Resurrection.
Paul (who saw the risen Christ) tells us that it is important that Jesus truly did rise again because '. . . if Christ is not raised, your faith is foolish. . .we are of all men most miserable' (1 Cor. 15:14, 17). After Jesus rose from the dead, He met with His disciples (including the writers of the books of John and Matthew; and Peter, who informed Mark). He commanded them to tell people about the Creator who came to save the world from the Curse of sin (Matthew 28:19-20, Revelation 4:11, 5:9). Then He went back to Heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in Him (John 13:2-3).
Just as 'science' cannot prove that Jesus rose from the dead, it also cannot prove that God created everything in six days. In fact, 'science' can't prove any event from history, because it is limited in dealings about the past. Historical events are known to be true because of reliable eyewitness accounts. Similarly, there are reliable eye-witness accounts that Jesus' tomb was empty after three days, and that He later appeared to as many as 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Most importantly, we know that both the Resurrection and Creation are true because God, the most reliable eye-witness of all, who never lies and knows everything, tells us in His Word that these things happened.
Many people do not believe the historical accounts that Jesus really died and rose again. They have made up many stories to try to explain why the tomb where Jesus was buried is now empty.