Looking at salvation history through the eyes of a screenwriter will allow you to see the connections between the Old and New Testaments very clearly. Remember, like a screenwriter, God knows the end of the story before he starts writing. And nothing in our story is wasted. Everything is in salvation history for a reason.
So, play along with us today and take a gander at God, the author of life, and his story for our salvation in screenplay form. To start, let’s review the structure of the first act.
ACT ONE (Pgs 1-30)
- Pgs 1-10 (Opening): Audience decides whether they like a movie or not.
- Pgs 11-25: Establish the world of the protagonist.
- Pgs 25-30: Plot Point 1 – drastically changes the path of the protagonist, the adventure begins.
In our salvation history screenplay, God opens the story most impressively. With a bang.
He tells us this very complex and massive event in a very simply way, focusing us on the important parts of the process; The What and The Why.
He tells us what he does, such as creating the stars and the sun (the universe and time), the earth, the water, the sky, the creatures that populate those areas, and lastly, us, mankind. He creates us at the end of the sixth day because we are meant to be with him on the seventh day. Why?
God created us so we can be with him. It’s really that simple.
He wants us to choose to love him and obey him. And he wants us to spend eternity with him.
At this point in our story, we have preternatural gifts including immortality, infused knowledge and we are driven by our intellect, not our will. We decide whether we should do something before we engage our will. In other words, we always think before we act.
We are not in Heaven, but we are with God. He gives us specific responsibilities and Adam and Eve, when faced by the threats of Satan, are unwilling to sacrifice to obey God’s will.
And we separate ourselves from God. And now we can die.
That’s Plot Point 1. That’s the major event that changes everything and starts us down our new and challenging path.
We lose our immortality and we are burdened with concupiscence. Instead of the intellect informing the will, now the will informs the intellect. We now first want to do something and, if we’re lucky, we’ll take the time to determine whether or not we should do that thing.
Satan will use this to tempt us for the rest of time.
This sin, this separation from God, bothers God so much that he puts a cherubim with a flaming sword at the entry to Eden to protect us from eating from the Tree of Life and regaining immortality.
Why would he do that? Because he doesn’t want us to spend eternity separated from him by sin. He wants to spend eternity with us.
God knows from the moment of our fall that only he can mend the fissure that separates man from God. And he knows he will have to become incarnate, both human and divine, become one of us, to heal the rift. That’s why he tells Eve, from the very beginning, that one of her descendants will give birth to the one that will crush the head of Satan and overcome their sinfulness.
God also knows that he will be so intertwined with his people that he establishes marriage with Adam and Eve, calling them husband and wife. He does this because he knows, at the end of the story, his incarnate self, Jesus, will be the bridegroom and his church, his people, the bride. As man and woman become one flesh, so will God with the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and through the establishment of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.
God knows the end of the story.
But, we’re not ready for the end of the story. We have to learn the value of sacrifice, the rewards of obedience and how to overcome temptation by choosing, through our free will, holiness.
During this process God’s covenants with man, now only between God and Adam and Eve, will continue to grow.
In the second Act he will start layering in people, places and events. Amazing things will occur that prefigure the new covenant.
Things that will boggle the mind.