Inclusion is one of the main cultural themes today. How terrible is exclusion! Almost at the start of the Bible we read a story about exclusion. Because of their sin, Adam and Eve were excluded from that wonderful garden, called paradise. Not only Adam and Eve experienced exclusion from God and in the end also from life, but the whole of humanity.
Even God’s own people, while they were in Egypt were outside God’s promised land. How could they, how could we ever, ever get back to the lost paradise, the promised land that we all long for? In the midst of the five books of Moses we find a book that deals with that problem: Leviticus. In the midst of that book, we find the high priest, reconciling men with God on the day of atonement. In the midst of the first five books of the New Testament we find a book where many outsiders, people who were excluded, come into the picture: Luke’ Gospel. And surprisingly enough, through faith in Jesus they find inclusion! In the end of the Gospel we see amazing things. We see that Jesus, as the great High Priest, offers his life and is excluded to bring the ultimate day of atonement. And as a result, we see that even a great criminal, just before he would die, is welcomed by Jesus in paradise.