Creation. Fall. Redemption. Consummation. These are the pivotal pieces of the biblical metanarrative. This past week, Class 18 has been diving into the metanarrative to discover God’s presence in every inch of the Bible. No matter what we read, Jesus reveals himself to us in awe-inspiring ways. All we have to do is search, and Fellows Director David Blanchard has been leading us through the layers of the metanarrative as our guide to exploring the scriptures.
What is the metanarrative of Scripture?
The metanarrative is the big picture of the Bible. Though it is essential to take a deep dive into specific pieces of scripture and meditate over them, it is easy to forget that the Bible is one big story of a family. It begins with Adam, leads to Jesus, and continues through us. The Bible has every component of a story: everything is excellent, then there is an inciting incident, a conflict, and a conclusion. All stories are inspired by the metanarrative, not vice versa.
Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created everything good and commissioned Adam and Eve to fill and subdue the earth. Humanity and the rest of creation were in a state of shalom, which is how things should be. God took great joy in creating the earth and intended for us to enjoy creation. We have enjoyed creation as a class by taking walks, riding bikes, and reading outdoors.
However, shalom was spoiled when Adam and Eve committed the first sin. Because we are now infected with sin, we are separated from God. We learned that there are five main areas distorted by sin. In creation, the possibility of natural disasters enters in. Humanity’s relationship with creation is also botched because Adam and Eve cursed the ground. The third distortion is humans’ relation to other humans. Some incapabilities come with humanity’s inability to accomplish the tasks God initially gave. Finally, humanity has distorted its relationship with God Himself. By definition, because of sin, we cannot be with Him in the same way anymore.
Like every story, when things get bad, we need hope. The metanarrative supplies hope through Jesus Christ. God created the world good. Therefore, it inherently has the potential to be redeemed. Through the law, God gave us the recipe for freedom. However, we could not keep it. Jesus came to fulfill the law, take the penalty for our crimes, and triumph over evil. Hope abounds!
Therefore, we are called to trust Him as a conclusion to the scripture story. Class 18 has been learning to trust God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. Studying God’s overarching narrative helps connect all the dots between the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is not just a collection of great stories. Instead, the Bible is one big story that starts with creation and is still being told today by you and me as we wait for His return.