+ WATCH “Experience the Book” from the Museum of the Bible
+ PRAY for open hearts and minds, especially yours.
+ READ 1 Peter 1:10-12, 22-25; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 3:14-18 (ESV)
As we talk about the Big Picture of the Bible, you’ll hopefully see just what this book means to God’s people. After all, this is where we find out who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here. The Bible is the book that tells us the story of Jesus. Now that might not seem very Earth-shattering. But if you remember what we said before about Jesus, and how “in him all things hold together,” then that story’s not just any story. It’s about HIM and since it’s about HIM, it’s the untold story, the secret history of the whole world. And now we know it.
You see, when I talk about the Bible, I’m sharing a story that didn’t start with me; someone else told it to me. And that someone at some time learned it from yet another person, and so on. And because it wasn’t theirs, no one got to make it up or add their own spin to it. They took what they heard and passed it on. In fact, for thousands of years, billions of people around the world have come to know it. That history is no longer a secret, and once you know it everything else begins to make sense. Here’s how one persecutor-turned-preacher described it:
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:25-27)
That story was a secret because only God saw it all happening in real-time, but this story is now good news because God has opened it up for all to see. Paul uses a variety of words, but this is what makes this story so special: God has spoken; it’s HIS story. This isn’t just any book; it’s the Biblia, the Book of Books. The God who exists from eternity has spoken his Word so you can know his power, wisdom, and glory—so that you can trust and obey him.
Sadly, for many the Bible simply remains a mystery. Sure, it might seem like everyone on this side of the Atlantic has one, and most people know at least something about it. Even those who deny what it teaches can’t help but be moved by its beauty and depth of meaning. But few people really understand what they hold in their hands. The Bible is the most-read, most-translated, and most-influential book in human history. There are more handwritten copies of the Bible than any other body of ancient literature, and because of that we can trust that what we hold today speaks the same truths God’s Spirit gave to his spokesmen through the ages.
And the more evidence we find—caves filled with hidden manuscripts, cities buried under centuries of dirt, or even the mapping of the human genome—the more we exult in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The evidence confirms what Christians already know by faith: that God exists and that he has spoken. For many, that’s still a mystery, but because of Jesus that’s a story worth sharing. So, where do we start? How about here: “In the beginning…”
+ ASK Three Big Questions
+ DIG DEEPER with slides for group discussion.