Bubba was stunned. “He fulfilled it,” he kept repeating over and over. No one had answered this before. At least not in a way that made any sense. Most had told him it was a progression God was taking man through, like a learning curve. When man failed to succeed in the first covenant, then God provided a better one. But this sloth was saying it was God’s plan all along! It was God’s plan for man to fail and God to fulfill? God said man would fail and then he fulfills? God did not replace the Old Covenant? It was perfect as it was? It was godly, of God, not a mistake?
Yinney added more at just the right time, “Not only did man fail over and over again, but he needed to fail, so he would finally realize he could never save himself. And even today people still believe they can be good enough and earn heaven. It is a salvation by works, not by love and grace. Even with all the evidence of the Old Testament records, and the history of human nature, man still thinks if his good out weighs his bad, he goes to heaven, but that is not the real problem. The real problem is, how can a person ever get rid of a single sin, except to be forgiven, by God? If you only sinned once in your whole life, how could that sin ever be gone?”
Yinney continued, “The question is not about how to be good enough, because we already know the answer is that we cannot! But the real question is, how do we have our sins forgiven and cast away into forgetfulness? How do we get free from even a single sin? Will prayer do it? Will a prayer wheel do it? Only God can decide if we are forgiven, and he decides the ground rules for that forgiveness. And that is what God made available to man, by faith in Christ, when he fulfilled the Old Covenant for us, and ushered in the New Covenant of faith and grace.”
Bubba was silent for a while before finally speaking again. “Your words are very profound,” he said. “I have always been interested in the prophetic. Can you give me an example of how you say, it was prophesied from the beginning that God would fulfill?”
“Oh yes!” Yinney almost shouted in his excitement. “I’ll give you two at the very beginning. So of course these will be Old Testament scriptures. As you know, the Hebrews say it all started with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, when they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now they were no longer in a state of innocence, but had to be accountable for their sins. But God immediately begins to prophesy his future salvation when he is passing judgement, and they are about to be exiled from the garden.”
“When speaking to the snake, in Genesis 3:15, God tells the future when he says: ‘And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her off spring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’ God speaks of a child to come, ‘He’; and ‘He’ will strike your head. Later prophecies even state ‘He’ will be a descendant of King David! And will be born in Bethlehem. It’s very specific.”
“I am aware that Jesus was known as the son of David,” Bubba acknowledged.
Another excellent historical event according to the Hebrews, is when God comes to their forefather, Abraham, and he tells Abraham they will enter into a Covenant, and he is to make the preparations. This is all recorded in Genesis 15. It starts in verse 9.
So Abraham makes all the preparations. Several animals was to be sacrificed and laid open for the ritual, a blood covenant. The strongest of covenants. But in verse 11, vultures begin trying to attack the carcasses and Abraham is fighting them off as he waits on God to appear! But in verse 12 we read the sun was going down and Abraham fell into a deep sleep! And a terrifying darkness came down over him! Had the Covenant depended on Abraham’s strength and ability to do good, it would have totally failed! Abraham believed, but he was weak in his flesh. So when God shows up he begins prophesying the future of the nation that will be born of him, Israel. And Abraham woke up in time to see a smoking firepot, and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. Jesus stood in that place for mankind, not Abraham. That’s verse 17.”
“Abraham would continue to have both failures and successes. The nation of Israel, and the descendants of Abraham, would continue to have both failures and successes. But in the appointed time, the prophesied Messiah himself was born, and he did not fail. He fulfilled the Old Covenant we continually fail, and he ushered in forgiveness of sin, and grace through his blood. Not the blood of animals. They could never pay for sin, but the blood of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.”
Several monkeys started clapping as Yinney spoke those final words. They had been so transfixed by the story, that when the exciting conclusion was spoken, they were moved to applaud.
“It is a wonderful story,” Bubba said, “But we are not convinced of ‘soul’. We seek a Nirvana where the cycle of fleshly cravings and earthly pain is finally broken. We are no longer born again and again to go through this same cycle, because we have finally let go of all selfness, no permanent self. We successfully attain the Eight-fold path, and this earthly cycle finally ends.”
“Yes,” Yinney said. “Christianity is the only faith where salvation, or heaven, or Nirvana, is based not on our works. It is based on our faith and God’s love. You have your own form of perfection you strive for, and if you’re finally good enough, the cycle will finally end. You receive your release. Do you think you can ever be good enough, Bubba?”
Bubba countered with, “Do you think you can ever love enough?”
“No,” Yinney plainly stated. “I no longer have a sin debt, but I have a love debt I can never repay, and that is why I am so grateful to my God for a salvation of grace. The only faith of its kind.”
Yinney and Bubba talked well into the night before finally retiring. They did so in a fellowship of mutual respect. Only time would tell if Bubba would ever decide that perhaps it was true, he would never be good enough. And perhaps this God of grace and love would speak to him too.