The Bible begins with Creation, but Christian theology has, for centuries, had other priorities. Many believe the primary story of the Old Testament is the election of Israel. This election of Israel as an emphasis reduces Creation to an afterthought, a mere accessory to the weightier biblical concern of human salvation. Salvation History is the key concept and the governing theme in this outlook. The story of Creation stands as only a prologue.
Then naturally, the questions that we should be asking ourselves is: “Why is God so invested in the world that he is worried about our salvation?” “Why would God send Jesus to this earth to die?” “If we and the world happened by chance, then why is God so concerned about you and me?” These are the three fundamental questions I should be asking myself, and we all should be asking each other. These questions become the key to our understanding of salvation and even of God Himself.
Therefore, the Bible begins with seven words in Hebrew. In English, it is ten words that describe God’s action. Genesis begins by stating: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”(Genesis 1:1). Upon reading the Bible cover to cover, I see that it also ends with a story of Creation. This time re-creation as the earth is remade to its former glory (see Revelation chapters 21-22). Therefore Creation must be important to God, as he uses Creation to bookend all that happens within the Bible.
God said, “Let us make humanity in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created humanity in His own image; in the image of God he created him (him being a Hebrew derivative of humanity); male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ . . . Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good, So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:26-28, 31).
As we can see, God has a vested interest in this planet. Why? First and foremost because he invested time, energy, and resources into its existence. Second, after completing the physical construction of all that is around us, he next created humanity. But He did not just make two human beings. No, it goes beyond that, for the family of God invested themselves into humanity in that they created humanity in their image.
For this reason, all of heaven has a vested interest in us. You don’t infuse your image into someone, then walk away. In a perfect world, that doesn’t happen. And indeed, this was a perfect world. God even said so in Genesis 1:31, where God viewed Creation and said, “It is very good.”
Creation serves as the reason God has such an interest in you and me. He longs for us to be saved. He longs for us to want salvation. Therefore Creation serves as the reason God spends so much time and energy and devotes so many Bible pages to salvation. Because He created humanity in His image, he has invested Himself in us and to us from the start. Therefore He was and is willing to die for us that we be recreated in His image.