Version 5 of the "Who Are We?" story, the biblical story of the world
In this version we see ourselves in Christ as mercy agents--forgiven and forgiving. (See other six versions under "Story of the World" tab.)
Prototype story by Stan Nussbaum
Rephrase or rewrite as needed for your situation
The story of the world is a story about God’s mercy.
Humans have often given God plenty of reasons to destroy us all, but he has taken the high road, the mercy road. He revealed his justice and mercy to his people, Israel.
His only Son Jesus took mercy to a whole new level, laying down his life to bring mercy to us, turning his own unjust execution into a sacrifice to pay for our sins. Now Jesus has sent us out as agents of his mercy, calling the world to take advantage of God’s grace period before the final judgment falls.
Expanded version: Unforgivable
God, the Real GOD, created a beautiful world with life everywhere. He put the first two humans, Adam and Eve, into the choicest part of that world, the Garden of Eden. There was only one rule they had to obey in order to keep everything working--Don't eat of the one tree that God declared off limits.
They got duped into breaking that one simple regulation, and it cost them. God banished them from the Garden, but it didn’t solve things. Their son Cain jealously killed his brother Abel. Society eventually got so corrupt and violent that God destroyed all but eight humans (Noah and his family) in the Great Flood, but not even those eight learned their lesson.
There had to be a better way for people to learn how to live in God’s world, and so God provided one. We see it in the story of Joseph, who got sold into slavery by his eleven jealous brothers. Years later Joseph got a golden opportunity to kill them all, but he had mercy on them. He even provided for them and their families!
That event set the tone for the whole incredible story of God’s mercy coming into the world through the “God Tribe” descended from Joseph’s great-grandfather, Abraham. God later set up an entire forgiveness system of sacrifices and priests through Moses and Aaron. When the tribe abused the system, God punished them but never wiped them out.
Centuries later, the story of God’s mercy came to a climax. God sent Jesus, the “Messiah,” the one-of-a-kind God-person, to earth through Mary, and it was perfect. Even his name means, “The Real GOD rescues.”
When Jesus grew up and the time came for him to complete his God-assignment, he spread the declaration: “Good news! God’s mercy is arriving. God’s deliverance is here. Welcome it, and follow me!” And can you believe it—the authorities hated him and got him executed!!
That has to be unforgivable, right? They have Jesus’s blood on their hands. But there is a twist in the story here. God declared that the senseless, wicked execution of Jesus is the very thing he would use to reveal how deep his mercy goes!
Instead of paying them back, God raised Jesus to life so he could serve as the agent of mercy for humanity. Then Jesus presented his own blood to God as the perfect, final sacrifice for all humanity! He declared not Judgment Day but a grace period, and he started adopting foreigners who accept this incredible mercy into the “God Tribe.”
The God Tribe became the Mercy Tribe, a huge global task force to spread the news of his mercy during the grace period. He gave them all his Holy Spirit so they received the power to show mercy like he did and the grit to endure like he did.
You would think that the whole world would welcome Jesus’s messengers of mercy with open arms, and while some do, many are mystified or insulted with the whole idea that they need mercy at all. Some would like to receive mercy but don’t want to be merciful to others, and Jesus does not allow that. Some of them try everything to silence the messengers.
That’s how things stand for the time being, but it will all change whenever the grace period runs out. There will be no mercy then. Jesus, the Rescuer, will come back to earth in person to rescue the forgiven people from those who refused to accept his forgiveness and show it to others. Evil will be destroyed, not forgiven, and all the mercy-lovers will live in gratitude forever, basking in the glory of God with no evil to spoil it.
Who are we? We are mercy agents, guilt-busters, taking God's mercy to the world before the grace period runs out. God doesn't want anyone to miss the deadline, and neither do we! Jesus died to show mercy to all. How could we let anyone miss out on something this good?
That’s our story. That’s why we live the way we live and tell this story to anybody who will listen.
Reflections on SYNCing with the story, "Unforgivable"
If you have already said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” Jesus Christ has already opened the door of mercy for you, and you have already walked through it. So let’s get the party started, celebrating with a huge “Yes” to all five of these things:
Yes, God is proactively rescuing the human race. He isn’t angrily keeping score and reacting to what we do.
Yes, God’s whole plan revolves around Jesus, the Rescuer who shows us what mercy looks like and what it costs.
Yes, Jesus has put his Spirit, life, and power into me, plugging me into the Mercy Tribe that goes all the way back to Abraham.
Yes, I am doing what Tribe members do—showing mercy to others whether they deserve it or not. I can afford to do that now that Christ has shown mercy to me.
Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to get me through any suffering that comes from those who set themselves up against his message of mercy.
If you haven't yet said, “I’m in! SYNC me!” remember: Jesus won’t force you in, but once you say yes, he brings you in. He moves into your life and you become part of the rescue plan that started with Abraham. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, “Good news! God’s mercy is arriving. God’s deliverance is here.”
You won’t get to run your own life or take revenge anymore, but you will be more alive and better SYNCed than you have ever been, and you will never again think of the Real GOD as judgmental.
More about what it means to say, SYNC me!