Some think the Christian story began on Calvary when our Lord was nailed to the cross. Others think it began in a cradle in a stable, when our Lord entered space and time, took on flesh, and dwelt among us. But make no mistake, before the cross and before the cradle, the Christian story was written in the mind of our Creator.
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love . . . (Ephesians 1:4 NKJV)
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (1 Peter 1:20)
Before the morning sun ever shone or the evening stars sang, our Lord Jesus Christ was on the way to rescue rebels on the run from God. When the earth was “without form and void,” our salvation was full of substance in the eternal counsel of the Triune God and our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Imagine that! Before God spoke creation into existence, He spoke our names into everlasting life.
When we marinate in these Gospel-saturated truths, we begin to catch a glimpse of the greatness of our God. He did not need us for any reason whatsoever. He already had perfect community, fellowship, and love in the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. So if He didn’t need us, why make us? The answer can only be found in one word: LOVE! Surely you know the most famous verse in all of Scripture?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I always find it amazing that John, who was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, could find no better description for the love of God poured out upon His people than “so loved.” To be sure, the love of God is indescribable. Who can understand it and put it into clearer words? Take just a cursory glance at the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it’s plain to see that God was in hot pursuit of the first sinners. They sinned and their consciences were seared. Filled with fear, they ran and hid from God. When God showed up, He would have been fully in the right to strike them down on the spot; instead, He shared His plan for their salvation . . . a plan that had been set in motion eons before.
Yes, our first parents died instantly—just as God had promised they would if they ate of the forbidden fruit—but that death was spiritual. Physical death came later. But God did not leave Adam and Eve without hope. He promised to send One who will crush the head of the serpent and rescue God’s people from sin and death. And that is exactly what Jesus did by way of the cradle and the cross.
We must never forget that, before the foundation of the world, God had written the plan for our salvation . . . and it was written on the heart of Jesus.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!