Rescued from the Hole

John 3:17

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים Those are the first three words of the Bible, the first three words of Genesis 1:1.  In English, “In the beginning God created” (Gen 1:1a). Throughout the whole creation account which was read earlier, God is the one who is speaking all things into creation, into existence out of literally nothing.  Within the creation of the universe and of our own little world, God steps back at the end of each day, looks at what He has done and says, “it was good.”  Then on day six, the last day of creation, after creating man and woman, giving them a place to live, and blessing them, God again steps back, looks at all He has created and saw that it was טֹ֖וב מְאֹ֑ד, “It was very good” (Gen 1:31).

Now in our modern day standards of rating things, we would say that God came up short, that God didn’t put all of His effort into the creation of creation for it was only “good.”  Today when we say that things are good what we really mean is that they are okay, that they are standard or sub-par.  When you try to find out how much your car is worth on Kelly Blue Book you have to rate the condition of your car as fair, good, very good or excellent.  When rating your stay at a hotel or the customer service from your recent flight, different companies give you a wide range of options from “very bad, I’m never going to recommend you again,” to “excellent.”  “Good” is usually in the middle.  When someone asks you how you are doing, we usually say, “good.”  Which really means that “I’m okay “or that any host of the means on the screen (I’m scared, I’m weak, I’m not good enough … ).

Except that isn’t how it works with God.  In the creation account, you have two rating levels … good and chaos.  The Bible starts with these words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen 1:1-2).  Formless, empty, darkness, those are things which describe chaos.  However, God out of His infinite power got rid of the chaos and created everything and we are told, it was good, it was perfect.

That is until Satan comes along.  Satan, originally created as a good angel, was no longer satisfied with being a creature of God.  Instead of being a creature, instead of being a highly ranked invisible creature, Satan wanted to be God.  So in wanting to be God, Satan rebelled against God.   He tried to dethrone the Creator of all things, the Creator of himself.  Because of Satan’s rebellion, he, as well the group of angels who followed him, were cast out of heaven forever.  But just because he was cast out of heaven doesn’t mean Satan gave up.  Instead of giving up he found a new target, a new way of trying getting back at God.  Satan said, “let’s go after God’s most prized creation … man.”  So Satan went to the perfect Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent and tempted Adam and Eve.  Satan tempted them not to just eat the fruit of the tree they were told not to eat from, but Satan tempted and convinced Adam and Eve that they didn’t need God, that they themselves could be God, could be like God … all they had to do was eat of the fruit and they would be full of wisdom like God.  So no longer satisfied with being a creature of God and having this desire to be God, they ate of the fruit. Satan was digging a hole in the midst of the beautiful and perfect creation God had made and with the desire to be God … Adam and Eve ate of the fruit and all of mankind with them fell into the hole.

Man fell into a hole and couldn’t get out.

{Video – A Man Fell into a Hole}

Our sins, our blatant and not so blatant disobedience to God, our lack of love shown to God and our neighbors … the hole in which we have fallen into has only gotten deeper and wider.  No matter how hard we try, no matter which option we choose to follow, all our efforts, all our attempts to free ourselves, to climb up out of our hole and to freedom only cause us to grow weak and only causes us to make the hole deeper and wider.  In the depth of the darkness of our hole, we lose hope, we grow tired, we lose our strength, and we may simply just give up thinking, this is what is meant to be, this is my destiny, this is my miserable end.

Sin renders us helpless and if we’re honest with ourselves … we don’t like it.  No one I have ever met likes feeling helpless.  I know for sure that I don’t like feeling helpless.  Actually, it literally drives me insane when I can’t do something for myself.  But standing in the bottom of that hole looking up to the light … that is what you and I are … in our hole, we are totally and utterly helpless.

But Jesus tells Nicodemus that in the midst of the depths of our hole, in the midst and the darkness of our helplessness, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17).  God has sent His Son, His one and only Son whom He loves to climb down into our hole and rescue us.  Jesus literally does it all.  He tosses in the rope, climbs down to you in your humanity, digs in and picks you up from the muck and mire of your sinful hole, puts all of you, all of your sin, all your problems, all your weaknesses and he puts them upon himself, he climbs up out of the hole, brings you to the light and saves you.  Jesus saves you from the darkness of sin, the temptations of Satan, and the hole of the grave as he brings you from death to light.

This morning we are observing Trinity Sunday. God the Father has created this world to be good, but then Satan rebelled and led you and me and all of mankind into a hole.  Because you and I only make things worse, God sent His one and only Son into the world to save it, to rescue us from the hole.  God gives you His Holy Spirit to be with you, to live and dwell in you and to help you to avoid falling back into the hole of sin and death.  But when we do, when we fall back into that hole, God is right there to help us.  And then on the last day, the day in which God sends Jesus back, the ultimate restoration of this creation will happen.  There will be no more sin, no more death, no more holes to fall into.  You and I, as well as all of the rest of creation will be made perfect and we will live in that new creation, the new heavens and earth as is described in Revelation and it will truly be טֹ֖וב מְאֹ֑ד, it will be “very good” (Gen 1:31) for “He {God} lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).   Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord, now and forever.  Amen.