1 Story -- "The Rescuer"
Version 2 of 7: "Uprooted"
SYNC claims that this world has a story, and it is not simply a story we humans are making up as we go along. It is a story God is unfolding. It has a flow and a rhythm.
We can pick up that rhythm if we look at the Bible as one long story. That is what "The Rescuer" does, condensing 1200 pages to two so you do not get lost in the details. Don't approach the Bible as if it were a rulebook or a textbook on religious doctrine. It is basically a story.
Uprooted (version 2 of "The Rescuer")
God, the Real GOD, creates a beautiful world, perfectly inter-connected and peaceful. He walks and talks with the first humans, Adam and Eve. He puts everything at their fingertips. They just pick and eat.
But wouldn’t you know it, they sneakily try the fruit of the only tree he said not to eat from. They do not trust God enough to know what is good for them. Shamed and uprooted from their paradise, they discover labor, pain, and fear.
Centuries go by, and things keep falling apart. Humans cannot re-root themselves in God or recover the kind of life they had. So God steps in. He chooses a man named Abraham to be the new root of a new nation.
The first thing God does to Abraham is to uproot him! He tells him to leave his homeland and go to a land that will be the inheritance of the nation that will come from him, and Abraham does it even though he is already old and has no children. He believes God’s promise that he will have descendants as uncountable as “sand on the seashore,” and they will be the key to bringing God’s blessing to the whole world.
Over the centuries, it gradually comes true. Abraham’s grandson Jacob has twelve sons, and each becomes the father of an entire clan. God plants the nation in the region he had promised Abraham, and he gives them one command above all others:
“No fake gods. I am the Real GOD, the God of Abraham, and you are mine.”
They promise to stay true to their roots in Abraham but they soon start worshiping the fake gods along with the Real GOD. He warns them through his prophets, but they don’t listen. Without God’s protection, they get uprooted again and transplanted into a foreign land, Babylon.
But this is not the end. Besides warning the nation, the prophets also predicted that someday a Rescuer would be born, a descendant of Abraham and of King David. Like them, he would never worship the fake gods. He would perfectly, permanently re-root the nation and the world in God.
Centuries later that prophecy starts coming true. Jesus is born, a descendant of Abraham. He does not directly declare that he is the long-awaited king or messiah, but he keeps talking like it—”This is it! God is reconnecting with earth, setting up his kingdom to deliver his blessings. Follow me and see what I mean.”
The authorities of the nation, also descendants of Abraham, decide that Jesus is a fake messiah, and they get the Roman governor to execute him. But the Real GOD proves Jesus is the real Messiah by bringing him back to life.
Here is the shocker. Jesus’ death changes the line of descent from Abraham. From then on, people who are blood descendants of Abraham lose their connection with the promises God gave Abraham for as long as they think Jesus is a fake. All those who accept Jesus as the genuine king are grafted into Abraham’s heritage. It does not matter whether they are blood descendants of Abraham or not. All is forgiven. They receive the Spirit of Jesus, like a new DNA, a new “bloodline”.
These spiritual descendants of Abraham keep getting attacked by people who are furious about what they say Jesus is doing and how he is doing it. Nevertheless, they show mercy to their attackers, following Jesus’ instructions and example at any price. They know their mission is to bless the world.
Why are they so confident? Roots! Through Jesus they are connected all the way back to their spiritual forefather Abraham. Jesus also connects them forward, all the way to the end of the world, when he will come back to earth in person to assert himself as King and crush all evil.
And that’s why we live the way we live and tell this story so gladly. As Abraham’s heirs and Jesus’ messengers, we spread the news that can turn anyone who trusts Jesus into a descendant of Abraham, a participant in God’s 4000-year-old strategy to bless the world.
That’s our story. What else would you like to know about it before you would say, “I’m in”?
If you do not have your roots in Abraham and you want his spiritual DNA, you can get it, but be careful. If you say, “I’m in. Root me in Abraham through Jesus,” you are saying these things:
Yes, God has provided a new spiritual root to unite and bless humanity, and it all goes back to Abraham.
Yes, the key to God’s whole strategy is Jesus, the King of blessing, whose wrongful death ironically created a way for people to become spiritual descendants of Abraham.
Yes, I want Jesus to put his Spirit, life, and power into me, rooting me in Abraham and giving me a share in the mission of Abraham’s tribe—blessing the whole world.
Yes, I want to begin blessing others right now—forgiving everybody for everything like Jesus has forgiven me. My new roots give me strength to trust God about that.
Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to help me rise above any rejection I face for him. I know my roots in Abraham. I know I am one of the many citizens of Jesus’ kingdom.
If you say “yes” to these things, Jesus moves into your life. He roots you in Abraham spiritually, so you trust God like Abraham did. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, “God is setting up his kingdom to deliver his blessings!”
You won’t get to run your own life or build your own kingdom any more, but you will be rooted in God’s kingdom, and you will never have to wonder about your identity or purpose again.
Note: There are seven versions of “The Rescuer” story, one for each SYNC season. Each version comes at the story from a slightly different angle. This is the “Roots Season” version. Others are not on the web site but you may preview them if you e-mail us a request.