What’s the most influential story for you from the Bible?
The Bible is full of amazing, true stories. We can read about The Red Sea parting for Moses, David beating Goliath, Jonah in the big fish, Daniel in the lion’s den and many more. These are all part of The Big Story, the story of God working through His people on earth, to bring us back to Him.
Have you ever wondered if the Bible has a most important story? Is there maybe a story that ties everything together into the Big Story? If there is, what is it?
Jesus Himself tells us what the most important story is. Luke tells us about two times after He came back to life that Jesus told His disciples what this most important story is.
“Jesus explained to them what was said about Himself in all the Scriptures. He began with Moses and all the Prophets” Luke 24:27 (NIrV)
“Jesus said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything written about me must happen. Everything about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must come true.” Luke 24:44 (NIrV)
When Jesus uses the word “Scriptures” and spoke about “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” He was speaking about the whole Old Testament (the part of the Bible about all the things that happened before Jesus came to earth). He was telling His disciples that when we read the true stories about real people like David and Samson and Elijah, about everyone in the Old Testament, they are telling us something about what Jesus was going to do. And they all came true!
But there are many things that Jesus did. What was the most important part of His story while He was on earth?
God used four men called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to write the true story of Jesus while He lived on earth, in stories called Gospels. They have been collected in the New Testament for us. The four writers spend the most time in those stories telling us about the week leading up to when Jesus would be crucified, and tell us about Jesus coming back to life. (A big word for coming back to life is resurrection.) Because they spend so much time looking at the Crucifixion and Resurrection, we can already see that the most important things that Jesus did was to die and rise.
Jesus Himself said that He would die and come back to life. In Mark 8:31 we read “Jesus then began to teach His disciples. He taught them that the Son of Man (a name Jesus used for Himself) must suffer many things. He taught them that the elders would not accept Him. The chief priests and the teachers of the law would not accept Him either. He must be killed and after three days rise again.” (NIrV)
God used Paul to write many letters that are in the New Testament. These help us understand what is so important about Jesus dying and rising. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 Paul writes “What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said He would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said He would be. He appeared to Peter. Then He appeared to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than 500 believers at the same time.” (NIrV)
Paul explains that the most important thing of all is that Jesus died for our sins on the Cross, and then was alive again on the third day. He explains later in the letter that if Jesus didn’t come back to life, then our sins haven’t been paid for, and we couldn’t know God. But because Jesus was raised to life, we know that our sins have been forgiven, and we can know God.
Paul also tells us that because Jesus is risen, even if we die, we will one day be raised to have a body like His, and will live with Him forever, never getting sick or wanting to do bad things ever again. Real bodies that can touch and hold things, but that will let us love God perfectly, without coming to an end. Real bodies that will let us do wonderful things like hug the people we love, and eat and play, forever. Those who don’t die when Jesus comes back to get us will get new bodies like His too.
The Old Testament stories are wonderful and true, and we learn a lot about God and ourselves from them. But none of the people from the Old Testament died for our sins, so that we could be God’s children. None of them could do that, since none of them were perfect. Jesus was the only person in the whole world, in all of history, Who could take the sins of everyone on Himself. And Jesus is the only person to have ever come back to life again and to stay alive forever. Other people who came back to life, like Jesus’ friend Lazarus, still got old and died again. But Jesus is alive, today, praying for us.
This is why the story of Jesus is the most important story of the whole Bible, of the whole world! If Jesus didn’t rise, Christianity would be false, and humankind would have no hope.
But Jesus is alive! And because of that, anyone who puts their faith in Him will one day have the wonderful, real body that we described above! This is why we can know that we are God’s children and that our sins are forgiven! And this is why we must tell others about Jesus: that He died for our sins and came back to life!
Thank You that You are alive Jesus! Please let me live for You and tell others about You! Thank You Lord Jesus!
Every part of the Bible is important, because every part came from God, and every part has something to teach us about our relationship with Him. As the Bible itself says, “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis added).
At the same time, the center or heart of the Bible is Jesus Christ — His life, death and resurrection for us. The Old Testament looks forward to His coming and tells us how God prepared the way for it (which is one reason why Jesus quoted it so much). The New Testament records Jesus’ actual coming, and the difference He made in the lives of His followers after He returned to Heaven. Both parts of the Bible tell us of God’s love for us.
Because Jesus is the heart of the Bible, I suggest you begin reading one of the Gospels (I often suggest John). As you read, ask God to show you who Jesus is, and what He can do in your life. You’ll discover that Jesus was more than a great teacher; He was God in human flesh, who came from Heaven to save us from our sins and give us hope for the future. Could anything be more important?
Don’t read, however, just to discover more information about the Bible, or about Jesus. God wants to change your life — and He will, as you turn to Jesus and commit your life to Him. Read your Bible not only with an open mind, but with an open heart and will.
The Birth of Jesus
John the Baptist
Nicodemus and Rebirth. The necessity of being born again.
Beatitudes. How we are to live.
The Lord’s Prayer. How we are to pray.
Seeking God. The most important thing to do, ever.
The Deity of Christ
The Greatest Commandment
Eschatology. What will happen at the end of time?
The Holy Spirit
The Lord’s Supper
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
The Great Commission
The Bible is the single most important book ever written. It is an eyewitness account of historical events of such magnitude that they have literally shaped the world in which we live. Without this book the Western world and a good deal of the Eastern world would be completely different today than if the events of this book had never occurred.
It is not too much to say that the events recorded in this book are claimed by a significant percentage of people who have ever lived on this earth to be the most important events ever recorded in the history of the world. This book is foundational to just about everything mankind will ever know or accomplish. It has directly led to massive undertakings of good will and charity. Because of this book, great projects have been undertaken, hospitals have been built, multitudes fed and clothed and orphanages founded.
Here are five primary reasons why you need to read the Bible. This article was written by Dan Buttafuoco, president of the Historical Bible Society.
THE BIBLE HAS TRANSFORMED THE WORLD
Importance of BibleIt would be impossible to claim to be an educated person in today’s world without having at least some familiarity with the events contained in this book. Actually, all of the events contained in this book should be known by everyone.
A good number of people around the world read portions of this book every day. It is one of the most published and printed books in the history of the world. It has been printed in just about every known language (including braille) and each year, since it was first written, it has been the world’s greatest bestseller year after year. As time marches on it is continually printed in yet more languages. Collectors of rare books treasure it in every form.
The Bible was the first book ever put to the printing press. The man who first printed it, Johannes Gutenberg, was recently voted the most important man to have ever lived within the past 1000 years!
A good number of museums exist today which are dedicated solely to this very book and the events contained therein.
The Bible is available in every corner of the globe, even where it is illegal to own or read this book. It is available in electronic format and on CD as well. You can find it on the internet for free. Famous actors and personages regularly quote it. It was quoted by William Shakespeare many times in his writings.
Worldwide organizations and associations have been formed because of this book and its message, many of them existing for centuries. Together they represent multiple hundreds of millions of members.
PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR THIS BOOK
Importance of BiblePeople have died torturous deaths simply to gain access to this book. You may, even now, be in a country where this book is discouraged or even banned outright. In many countries it is a crime to distribute or even possess this book.
This book has been praised, cursed, restricted, banned, desecrated, burned and fought over. People swear on it and at it.
Some have tried to eliminate it. All who have tried have failed. People have suffered exquisite tortures and loss of freedom and even their lives for printing it. This has occurred recently and over many centuries past, as well. It is, in fact, a regular occurrence in this world.
This book is simultaneously hated and loved. Once read it would be impossible to be indifferent to it; for its claims are monumental and beyond exaggerating. It provokes a strong response in either a positive or negative direction; you will either love it or hate it. It was meant to be so by design. It is so controversial that wars have been fought over its interpretation. Governments have toppled on account of it and kings have been deposed because of it. Most importantly, lives have been dramatically changed for good because of this book.
IT’S THE MOST ACCURATE BOOK OF ANTIQUITY
Importance of BibleThe Bible is the most copied book of antiquity. Written over a time period of some 1,500 years, it was completed approximately 2,000 years ago. Yet, in all the centuries that have passed, none of its contents have ever been found inaccurate.
It has been translated into its present form directly from the original languages from a vast supply of ancient manuscripts sifted by the best minds and most competent scholars of our day and of many prior generations. It has been translated into every known existing language.
It is surpassingly accurate to the smallest details. Its contents, as translated, are as close to the original words of the authors as humanly possible. Only a few words of the entire book (a tiny, insignificant percentage) are in any doubt as to the original words and none of the disputed text affects the message of the book. Additionally, new discoveries of previously unknown ancient manuscripts continue to provide ever greater accuracy to the contents of this book.
It has been sifted, studied, commentated upon and dissected more than any book in history. Volumes of books have been written about it and if they were stacked on top of one another they would reach to the sky.
Where this book can be verified by external events such as archeology, geography, custom, politics, culture, known world history and writings in other ancient texts it has been so verified as to be accurate in all respects. New discoveries always support it, never vice versa. It has never once been proven faulty on single detail or fact, although many have mightily tried and failed.
IT CONTAINS A LIFE-CHANGING MESSAGE OF FREEDOM
Importance of BibleThe Bible has liberated many from oppression by its clear teachings. It raises the dignity and rights of every human being ever born. It is truly an amazing and remarkable piece of writing. It contains clear teaching on the value and worth of every individual. It will astonish and surprise you and likely move you to tears.
It has freed minds and hearts throughout history. The events recorded in this book have generated more great works of art (and some not-so-great ones, as well) than any other subject matter in the history of the world. All the museums in the world, added together, could not possibly contain all of the artwork inspired by the events of this book.
This book itself represents true freedom. It has never been in the custody and control of a single group of people, unlike other important books. It belongs to everyone and it has been possessed by everyone, every culture and every tribe and race of people. Reading it will strike you directly in your heart. It has the “ring of truth” to all who love the same.
This book contains a message at its very core. It is a message to all people everywhere, in every time period, relevant to their everyday lives. It claims to be the very words of God… an audacious claim, for sure. It is for you to decide whether to believe the message of this book and apply it to your own life.
If you now know nothing about God, you will know a great deal about God after reading this book. If you believe you know much about God, you will know even more about him after you read this book. You may even decide to re-evaluate your knowledge of God after reading it.
IT CONNECTS YOU TO HISTORY’S MOST IMPORTANT FIGURE
Importance of BibleYou may have heard of the “godman,” Jesus of Nazareth, also called the “Christ” (i.e.“Anointed One”). You may even think you know him. But if you have not read the account offered firsthand throughout this book, you will, in effect, know nothing definite about him. The entire Old Testament points to his coming, and the entire New Testament testifies to his teachings and actions.
His name has been used to bless people and it has been used as a curse word by those who despise him. People have been healed and set free in his name. One thing is for sure: when you meet Jesus in the pages of this book and understand who he claims to be it is impossible for you to remain indifferent to him.
This story is either the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind or it describes Jesus as exactly who he claims to be: the Supreme Lord and Ruler over all of mankind and the very creator God of the Universe. Logically speaking, this is either a nice poetic story created from a fantasy with an intent to deceive you or a clear and accurate picture of God, who is our judge ( both mine and yours). You decide. If you think you know about God already, consider the source of that “knowledge” and examine if this book may, in fact, be a better source for true knowledge about the one true Creator God that made you and everything else, both known an unknown in this Universe.
People are free to reject this book and what it says. God made us “free moral agents” to choose as we desire. Yet, people violate the teachings and wisdom of this book at their own peril.
Because of the main person in this book, Jesus of Nazareth, time has been split into two main epochs (B.C. “before Christ” and A.D. “anno Domini” for “year of our Lord”).
Each year, over a billion people celebrate his birth, his death and his bodily resurrection from the dead.
Jesus is the only religious leader ever to make the claim that he has risen from the dead. All others are dead and buried. Abraham is dead. Moses is dead. Mohammed has died and remains dead, Buddha is dead, Gandhi is dead. Only Jesus claims to be alive. Even Muslims revere Jesus as a holy man and a great prophet. All told, about half of the world today accepts that this Jesus was a great and remarkable personage.
Keep turning the pages of this remarkable book. Read it with an open mind and open heart. It contains pure truth about God, about life, the nature of mankind and our own hearts as human beings. The Gospel of John is a wonderful place to start, but read the whole thing — Old and New Testaments. You’ll be amazed what you discover about God, and about yourself.
If this God is indeed your judge, before whom you will someday give an account of your life, it truly behooves you to be aware of who he is and the simple thing he asks of us before that solemn time comes. In essence, this book will help you to deal with that very event for which we are all destined. Be warned: you will not be the same after you read this book.
What’s the most influential story for you from the Bible?