This year at the BCEC, we’ve set off on a journey through the Old Testament, and no longer have we cast off from shore, then we arrive at the story of Noah’s ark. On one hand it’s a story of God’s judgement, and on the other hand it’s a picture of God’s mercy. And it’s that dichotomy that can make it difficult to wrestle with – especially when we try to engage with it in a logical, grown-up manner.
And as I listened to James preach on the Noah this week, no further than 10 minutes into the message, i was struck by something new.
Noah, as righteous as he was, could not save humanity. God used him to save the human race, but he could not save humanity. The story of the ark is God’s mercy to save creation, one of each kind of living creature – mankind included.
And in doing so, you might think that this gives humanity a fresh start. Take one good man, and start all over again – surely that would be enough to recreate life?
But in reality, the saving of one good man, is not enough to save the soul of humanity. It’s a new beginning, but one that is still inherently flawed. Man’s heart is still subject to the brokenness that comes with sin. And every generation since has struggled with that brokenness. And no amount of personal goodness, scientific breakthrough, glorious achievement can change that very fact.
The story of Noah’s Ark highlights the fact that saving something broken, doesn’t fix it. It’s like, restarting a virus infected computer, doesn’t fix the virus – it just starts it all over again.
But Jesus, Jesus is in many ways the “anti-noah.” Well, maybe not “anti-noah”, rather he is the antidote. Where Noah is one life saved at the cost of many, Jesus is the story of one life given for the saving of many. Whereas Noah, a good man, was put into an ark, to start life again. Jesus, a great man, was put into a tomb, to die for all. And Noah, a good man, could not save the rest of humanity. Only Jesus, a perfect man, through his death, saves all who believe.
The tying thread here is faith. Put your confidence in Christ, and be saved. But deny him, and deny salvation. As we see through noah, just being good, isn’t good enough. It won’t save you, and it won’t save humanity. When judgement comes, and it will come, where will your confidence be found? In your own goodness, or in the goodness of Christ?