One of the phrases that my grandchildren used continually was, "Oh, he's just messing with us..." What they meant was, "Oh, he's just kidding with us..." My use of the word messing is that of "interrupting' or "interfering" with a process at work.
It is my intention to deal with a phenomenon called a "sequence. And, ultimately, "messing with that sequence." A sequence is a following of one thing after another; succession; an order of succession; an arrangement. A sequence tells you the order in which things happen or come.
An familiar example of a sequence would be the driving of an automobile:
1. Getting into the driver's seat
2. Buckling up the seat belt
3. Checking the view ahead and in the mirrors
4. Turning on the ignition
5. Putting the car into gear while holding a foot on the brake
6. Sliding the foot from the brake to the accelerator
7. Utilizing the steering wheel to determine the desired direction
SAFE DRIVING TO YOU!!!
The steps in this sequence are not "etched in stone." Some may be omitted, some added, the order of some steps altered. It only illustrates the idea of a sequence of events.
A numerical (mathematical) sequence, however, is very rigid:
2, 4, 6, 8, ... (3 dots means 'and so on' according to the established pattern---add 2 each time to get the next element). This type of sequence is known to be "infinite," because there is always a 'next' element. The sequence never has a stopping or ending point.
Much like our concept of "eternity."
The Scriptures deal with a very crucial sequence:
1. conception (of life)
2. gestation (or pregnancy)
3. birth into this world
4. existence in this world
5. physical death
6. existence after death
This sequence is rigid, fixed, unalterable in order---and generally accepted on all levels of thought. The exception may be the last element, since there are those who question and debate the "existence after death." The issue of eternity, eternal life, forever.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the first 5 elements are "etched in stone." Beginning with conception the elements, or events, follow one after the other. With only one major exception: The 100% man-100% God: the Man from Galilee, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus Christ "messed" with this sequence, reversing the order by going from physical/spiritual death back to physical/spiritual life.
"...passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ DIED (dead-dead) for our sins
according to the Scriptures, and that
He was BURIED (dead-dead),
that He was RAISED on the third day
according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor 15:3b-4b.
What followed were siteings by 527+ eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ, hardly the results of collusion or hallucinations. Jesus reversed the normal life/death sequence, giving hope to literally millions of world-dwellers down through the centuries. DEATH can now be followed by LIFE (existence after death---in the presence of God Almighty). The alternative is eternal separation from our Sovereign God.
Jesus Christ holds the keys to existence after death:
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth
and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6.
Peter speaking, "Salvation (eternal life with God)is found in NO ONE else, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
Herein is noted a crucial sequence that locks in all of mankind.
But Jesus holds out the key that unlocks spiritual freedom for each of us... The Great Sequence-Breaker is intent on sharing His love with each and every respondee.