The Christian Biblical Narrative is a central framework for understanding the nature of God, reality, and the human condition. It is comprised of four distinct parts: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. These four parts provide a comprehensive narrative that addresses the existence of sickness and disease, as well as the comfort and hope that can be found in the face of illness.
The first part of the narrative is creation, which speaks to the origins of the universe and all that is within it. According to this narrative, God is presented as the Creator of all things, both visible and invisible. The book of Genesis states that God created the world in six days, declaring it to be good. This affirms the goodness and intentionality of the created order, implying that sickness and disease were not part of the original design.
However, the second part of the narrative is the fall. It describes how humanity, represented by Adam and Eve, disobeyed God’s command and introduced sin into the world. Due to their rebellion, humankind became separated from God and subjected to the consequences of sin, including suffering and illness. This implies that sickness and disease are a result of the brokenness and fallen nature of humanity.
The third part of the narrative is redemption, which speaks to God’s response to the brokenness caused by the fall. Central to this part is the person of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection are seen as the ultimate act of redemption. In the Christian understanding, Jesus took upon himself the punishment for humanity’s sin, offering forgiveness and reconciling people with God. This redemption extends to all areas of life, including sickness and disease, although the complete eradication of illness is not explicitly promised in this part of the narrative.
The fourth and final part of the narrative is restoration, also known as the eschaton or the end times. This part looks forward to a future where God will fully restore and renew all things, including the eradication of sickness and disease. This restoration is often depicted as a new heaven and a new earth, where there will be no more pain, suffering, or death. So, according to this part of the narrative, the ultimate hope and comfort in the face of illness lie in the promise of future restoration.
In light of illness, each part of the narrative has implications for the nature of God, reality, and the human condition. The creation narrative affirms the goodness of God as the Creator and suggests that sickness and disease are not part of the original design. The fall narrative highlights the brokenness and fallen nature of humanity, which is responsible for the presence of illness and suffering in the world. This understanding acknowledges the reality of sickness but also underscores the need for redemption.
The redemption narrative emphasizes the compassionate and redemptive nature of God, offering forgiveness and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This brings comfort and hope to those facing illness, as they can find solace in the belief that God understands their suffering and offers a path towards healing, both physically and spiritually. However, it is important to note that not all physical healings are promised in this narrative, as the full restoration of all things awaits the future eschaton.
The restoration narrative provides the ultimate hope and comfort in relation to illness. It promises a future where sickness and disease will be completely eradicated and where pain and suffering will cease to exist. This vision of a restored creation brings comfort to those who are suffering, offering them the assurance that their present afflictions are temporary and that a future of wholeness and healing awaits them.
In conclusion, the four parts of the Christian Biblical Narrative speak to the nature of God and reality in relation to sickness and disease. The creation narrative affirms the original goodness of creation, while the fall narrative explains the entrance of illness through humanity’s rebellion. The redemption narrative offers comfort and hope through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the restoration narrative promises a future where sickness and suffering will be no more. Together, these parts provide insight and meaning to the experience of illness, offering comfort and hope to those who are facing sickness and disease.