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Better Than Noah

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” (Revelation 21:5).

The famous story of Noah and the flood fills Sunday school classes, kids’ books, and Christian art. But Noah’s flood isn’t simply a Sunday school story about zoo animals and rainbows. Real people died; real sin was punished in a real flood. At the same time, Noah’s life isn’t just a grim story about fury and death. Even though God did execute judgment because people refused to forsake sin, He still showed grace to those who trusted Him.

The problem is that Noah’s ability to build an ark and survive the flood didn’t include any power to escape the corruption in his own heart. There needed to be another salvation story that didn’t end in sin and curses. Jesus brings us this better story. While a wooden ark delivered Noah from physical death, a wooden cross delivers us from spiritual death. Just as Noah obeyed God by climbing onto a boat to save a few, Jesus obeyed His Father by climbing onto a cross to save many.

When the floodwaters receded, the world was like a new creation. Yet Noah still sinned after the boat hit land. Jesus Christ became the man Adam chose not to be and the man Noah never could be. Adam was born without sin but chose to sin; Noah was born into sin and could never escape it.

But Jesus obeyed completely so He could be authorized to judge sin and crush Satan (Revelation 1:18). When Christ returns, those who took refuge in the ultimate ark—Jesus Christ—will embark into eternity with forgiveness, resurrection, and a new creation immune to God’s curse.

—Brandon D. Smith, condensed