Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church of Christ. Please feel free to follow along.
In my college American Literature class we spent a lot of time understanding how a story is put together. Whether you are reading a book, watching a movie or playing a game there is literary devises used to flesh out the plot of a story. The parts of this literary devise are exposition … introducing the character and the problem to be solved; rising action … the action and course of events that build suspense; the climax … the point the entire story has been building up to, and where the conflict is finally resolved; falling action … this part of the story shows the results of the climax and its effects on the characters of the story; and finally the resolution … this is the conclusion of the story, and shows how the characters have resolved the conflict and how they are progressing through life. If you have watched, read, or participated in any story, you can probably point out each of these parts of the plot.
The Bible is not any different. Throughout the stories of the Bible are many expositions, rising actions, climaxes, falling actions, and resolutions. Each story in the Bible has all five of these parts. However, when reading the Bible as one story, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, we see all five of these literary devises used. In Genesis 1:1 the characters of the Bible are introduced … God and man. In Genesis 3 the problem is introduced … Man sins and a chasm is created between man and God. From Genesis 4 on we see God’s plan of restoring man, this is the rising action. During this time we see God completely destroy man, pick one man to build his nation through, develop his nation while in slavery in Egypt, deliver them into their own land, protect them from the surrounding people, allow foreign kings to conquer them and send them all over the world, protect them and keep them in a time of silence, and finally allow the Romans to come in and rule over them.
It is at this time Jesus enters the world. Paul says “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a women, born under law, to redeem those under law that we might receive the full rights of the sons.” Jesus came when the world was best prepared for him to come. He came when Jews were spread all across the world. He came when the Jews were looking for a messiah. He came when the Romans had the world best set up to take the gospel message to all ends. This is all the part of the rising action of the Bible.
I believe the climax of the Bible happens in today’s reading (Acts 2). Jesus ministry, death and resurrection, were all part of the rising action. What God has been building up is the salvation of mankind and the beginning of his kingdom. We read about that today. It is now that God pours out his spirit. It is now that Peter stands and preaches the first gospel message. It is now that the people realize they have crucified the Christ. It is now they are cut to the heart. It is now that Peter, through the Holy Spirit, shares how one can find true salvation. It is here the church begins and 3,000 are baptized into Christ. It is here the church begins to function as God intends it. It is here the bridge if finally crossed and man and God begin to walk again as one.
All of God’s preparation throughout the ages comes to fruition today. Jesus death and resurrection built the bridge … at Pentecost man crossed it. God allowing his people to be dispersed by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, brings Jews from all around the world to the feast at Pentecost. Those who believed were then able to go back to their communities and share the message of the Cross. God’s kingdom was established. You have just read the climax of the Bible. As we continue to read Acts, and the epistles we will see the falling action as well as the resolution of the Bible.
Thank you for bearing with me on this long post. I truly love this chapter of God’s Word.