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As Christians remember the death yet celebrate the Resurrection of the Son of God, I wanted to share with you what I presented to the AiG staff on Thursday (April 5, 2007) about Easter.
I told them about a news reporter who asked me recently, “What statement are you really making to the world through the Creation Museum you’re about to open?” My answer went something like this:
AiG wants the world to know that the Bible is not just a book of religion, or morality, or just a book of spiritual things—although it is all those things. We want people, including future museum visitors, to understand that the Bible is a book of history.
You see, the first book of the Bible relates to us the account of the biological, geological, astronomical, and anthropological history of the universe—and this history is confirmed by observational science in genetics, biology, geology, and astronomy. Because this history as revealed in the Bible is true, then the message of the Christian gospel (concerning salvation from our sin of rebellion in the first man Adam) is true—that the Son of God stepped into history to become one of us and to die (but as a sinless man) on a cross (because death was the penalty for our sin), was raised from the dead (conquering death), and now offers a free gift of salvation (to live with God for eternity in a New Heavens and earth—with no death) to those who will receive it. This is the statement of this Creation Museum.
I told the reporter that the Creation Museum’s centerpiece is a walk through the 7 C’s of history: Creation; Corruption; Catastrophe; Confusion; Christ; Cross; Consummation.
Visitors will first walk through the first four C’s, where they not only experience the history of the world concerning creation, the Fall of man, the Flood of Noah’s day, and the Tower of Babel (the giving of different languages that formed different people groups), but are also given numerous answers (using observational science) that confirm this history. Then they are then taken into a special theater for a dramatic presentation of the final 3 C’s.
Recently, I watched the wide-screen video presentation of those last 3C’s, which visitors will soon see when the museum opens May 28. Although it’s only 14 minutes long, this high-quality dramatic presentation is the most powerful visual presentation of the gospel I’ve ever seen. Various actors (including one who appears in a role as a paleontologist in earlier parts of the museum) act out their parts so that everyone in the theater will clearly understand the gospel message based in true history.
At one stage, a woman acting the part of Mary talks about the Jewish sacrificial system. As you watch this presentation, you’ll become so absorbed with it that it will be as if you’re there. Mary says (in a passionate way):
Our sacrifice always had to be perfect—God required it. I have memories as a little girl, when my family would pick our best lamb from the flock. The priest took his knife and … . It always broke my heart, but my parents insisted that all of us were there. They wanted to make sure we each understood how terrible sin is, and just how much it costs to cover it ... [In the video, you’ll see Mary and her family watching this beautiful animal—and they see the priest’s knife. The priest holds the lamb up above the altar, and you really sense what Mary and her family must have sensed and experienced as the event broke their hearts.]
One day, after I was engaged to Joseph, I was visited by an angel of God. He told me not to be afraid, and that I was to give birth to a child, and that I should call him Jesus.
I asked how this could be, since I was still a virgin. The angel told me the power of the Most High would overshadow me, and my son would be called the Son of God. Of course, one day I learned that my son would be called something else as well—a lamb.
As I watched this new museum video, a number of things came to my mind that I wanted to share with you this Easter:
The first time the gospel was preached was in Genesis 3:15. Right after Adam sinned, which separated himself and all his descendants from our Creator, God revealed He already had a plan to provide a way of salvation for sinners: “ … And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
God further illustrated His redemption plan when he made clothing for Adam and Eve from animal skins: “… Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” This was the first blood sacrifice as a covering for their sin—a picture of what was to come in Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who would die and be raised from the dead to TAKE AWAY our sin.
As you contemplate this truth, I want you to think about the fact that, as God killed these animals to cover Adam and Eve, He knew that this would happen to the Son of God one day—in fact, knew this before He had created the universe, before there was time, God had predetermined that the Son of God would become a sacrifice for sin so that those who received the gift of salvation could be saved for eternity.
Acts 2:23 states: “… Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain … .”
Revelation 13:8 states: “… And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Think about this: before the universe was created, before time existed, before man was created, God knew that we (in Adam) would sin. He knew we would rebel against our Creator. And in the wisdom and love of God, in eternity, He predetermined a plan so that we could receive a free gift of salvation. In eternity, God planned for the Son of God to step into history to provide the ultimate sacrifice—the sinless Son of God would suffer sin’s penalty of death, be raised from the dead, thus providing a way of salvation. Hebrews 10:10 declares: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
As you think about the fact that in eternity, God had predetermined the Son of God would become a man to die for our sins, also contemplate these things:
a. When God created the heavenly bodies on day four of creation “for signs and for seasons and for days and years,” (Genesis 1:14), He knew that one of the signs would be for the time the Son of God would become a man, born of a Virgin in a town called Bethlehem.
b. When God made the trees (and all plants) on the third day of creation (Genesis 1:11), He knew that a tree would one day be used for the most evil event of history: when evil men would crucify the Son of God. And yet, by God’s foreknowledge and predetermined plan, this event would occur for the salvation of souls.
c. When God made the land animals on day six (Genesis 1:24), he knew that He would soon sacrifice at least one of those animals because of our sin in Adam—and He knew He had predetermined that this would one day happen to the Son of God, so we could receive the free gift of salvation
d. When God cursed the ground and caused thorns and thistles to grow because of sin (Genesis 3:18), contemplate the fact that God knew that one day, thorns would be used to pierce the brow of His Son as He hung on that tree paying the penalty for our sin. “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head …” (Mark 15:17).
Doesn’t this all want to make you want to fall on your knees and worship our Creator, praise Him, and continually thank Him for the … lamb slain from the foundation of the world?
And for those of you who have not received the free gift of salvation, God’s Word tells you: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The Creation Museum—and its walk through history—will open May 28, 2007. Not only will Christians learn how to defend the Christian faith in today’s world, but non-Christians will be challenged concerning the true history of world as revealed in the Bible—and the gospel based in that history.