Did you notice that the first two chapters of the Old Testament you read today were highlighted in red? Remember that RED highlights indicate the chapters that are crucial for helping us understand the overall narrative of the Bible’s salvation story. In other words, they indicate that the ‘Red Thread of Redemption’ runs through them. So what do we look for as we read chapters highlighted in red? Several things: (1) Is there a PROMISE of something to come? (2) What in this chapter reveals OUR NEED for a savior? (3) What in this chapter shows us the FULFILLMENT of God’s promises and the answer to our need?

Here’s what I saw in today’s chapters that the red highlights drew my attention to:

Genesis 1: We get a picture of what God’s original design for us was meant to be. We were made in His image, to reflect His likeness (1:26-27). He made us to “have dominion over” His creation – to rule over it under Him (1:27-28). This isn’t heaven, but it points us to what eternity will be like for believers, restored fully to the image of God and ruling over all of creation with Him.

Genesis 2: I love the picture of our first father and mother before they fell into sin: They were “naked and were not ashamed” (2:24). There was no sense of being exposed and vulnerable. There was no need for self-protection. (These are all signs of shame and guilt.) They felt normal, whole, and without self-consciousness. The events of Chapter 3 (tomorrow) will change all that. But here it’s worth dwelling on how far from that picture we presently are, and how freeing and joyful it will be to have that all one day restored when our nakedness is covered as we stand before the Throne of God clothed in robes that have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14).

Matthew 1: Perhaps you’ve always skimmed through this genealogy before. Slow down this time through and look for the ‘Red Thread.’ I see it in the unlikely names that appear here. The Messiah’s lineage includes a prostitute (Rahab), a man who slept with his daughter-in-law (Judah, with Tamar), and an adulteress (the “wife of Uriah,” who is of course Bathsheba)? All these unlikely names and the stories behind them reveal how God redeems unlikely and undeserving people (like you and me) and works out even the consequences of their sin to accomplish His eternal plan of salvation!

Well, I’m sure there’s more in all three of these chapters that merits the red highlights. I’ll let you find that on your own. (Your comments are welcome here!)