The Basic Plot of Scripture, Part 3

The Basic Plot of Scripture, Part 3

Creation, the fall, and redemption—three major themes in Scripture—are like three poles leaning against each other in a tepee. If one goes down, they all go down. If one is askew, they all are askew. The previous two installments discussed these themes separately: as they are introduced in Genesis and as they are carried through the rest of Scripture. But they are very much related to each other, and this interrelation is most clearly seen when we understand that redemption is in large part a re-creation or a restoration or a renovation: paradise regained.

Redemption as restoration begins with Jesus Christ, is then applied to believers, and is finally applied to the whole cosmos.


The basic plot of Scripture takes us right back to the beginning. The fall of man had far-reaching consequences, but the redemption of Christ was just as extensive. Revelation’s picture of the new heaven and earth looks awfully similar to Genesis’s depiction of the Garden of Eden. In Revelation 21–22, the groans and tears of Romans 8 are wiped away. Fellowship with God is restored with an intimacy best described as a marriage or as a temple-less city. The finished redemption is the central focus, for the Lamb (Jesus as sacrifice) is the light. Civilization has something worthwhile to offer, the glory and honor of nations. It is spotless. There is a river of life and a tree of healing, as it were, transplanted from Eden. No more curse. Everything subjected to God, as it should be, as symbolized by His name on their foreheads. And they finally exercise the dominion they were meant to have, reigning with Him forever and ever.

It is no wonder that Peter calls this time the apokatastasis—the “restoring”—of all things (Acts 3:21).

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