They fill the pages of our worn out, dog eared copies of Holy Scripture: stories of triumph and despair, stories of heroes and villains, stories of love and betrayal. It is so easy to think of them as simple object lessons for our lives, but behind them all is the larger, glorious story of a God who desired to lavish his love upon a chosen people. He graciously brought person after person, family after family, nations even, into his family making them his very own children.
They were each plucked from this earthly, human race and given a new, godly nature so that they would reflect their Heavenly Father.
The blood of Jesus contained power for each of them as it does for us. His love born sacrifice made a way for them to know the God their earthly father, Adam, fatally rejected. Even that same Adam, who plunged the human race into death found his own life in the promise of redemption. With veiled knowledge he looked forward to the one who would crush the serpent, who would free his soul from sin.
These people, God’s people, God’s children, are not just object lessons, they are our spiritual heritage. They are our fathers and our mothers, our sisters and our brothers, our friends and encouragement in faith. These people were made of flesh and bone just like us; they were born into this same sinful humanity. They knew the power of sinful desires, the paralyzing effects of fear, the incredible delight of passionate love, and so many more real, genuine emotions. God used them all, weak as they were, in his glorious plan of redemption.
These redeemed saints of the past stand before the Father now worshipping his glorious majesty and one day we will join them! One day we will add our glorified voices to the choir of the ransomed and look on our God forever, but not yet.
Today we are called to live in the power of the cross looking to our spiritual ancestors for encouragement and to our Savior for victory. They too were frail and weak, but they too had a strong and powerful God who faithfully brought them to eternal joy.