I’ve been thinking about the cross and how it looked from God’s point of view. In particular from the old vengeful Old Testament God point of view. Bear with me on this. If Jesus is Plan B, God sends Him to earth to teach us how to live. He points out that we fail in every way to live up to the standards He is teaching. (Note to those who see Him only as a teacher and try to follow what He taught). Old Testament God watches as we not only reject His teaching but turn on Him at a whim. Worst of all, it’s the church leaders who reject Him. They are happy with what they have and can’t cope with what He is saying.
So Plan B is not working out and surely God is getting angry. Mankind is provoking God in a very dangerous way. Remember Noah, Jonah, Lot’s wife, Sodom and Gomorrah, not to mention the sons of Korah. From this view I get very nervous about God’s anger. It seems to me He has to vent it on Jesus who has to suffer not just total rejection but the anger of a vengeful God.
THIS DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME AT ALL!
God is love. The relationship between Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit is perfect love. I cannot conceive of Papa God turning on Jesus as a scapegoat for His anger. I have to confess here that I don’t fully understand many of God’s actions in the Old Testament except that the Children of Israel told Moses that they didn’t want a direct relationship with God and the result was the Law.
Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”
-Exodus 20:19 (NASB)
They had solemnly promised to obey the Law (which of course they couldn’t) and invited the consequences on themselves with the exception of a few who could look forward to Jesus and understand grace.
Now, if Jesus was the plan from before creation, the whole thing makes a lot more sense. Everything that happens is with Jesus in mind. Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldees is with Jesus in mind. The exodus is with Jesus in mind. God appears on Mount Sinai with Jesus in mind. When the children of Israel say “let not God speak to us”, God has Jesus in mind. It’s tragic but it’s OK because Jesus is the plan. When King Saul messes up, it’s not the end of the Jews. God appoints another king – David. And so on down to the night when Jesus appears on the earth as a baby.
Knowing that Jesus was always the plan puts the whole thing in context. For years I couldn’t understand why the focus was on Jesus but He is fundamental to our existence. He is the way to the Godhead. When Paul talks about Jesus as the head and us as the body, it’s much more than just a church organisation. Jesus is fundamental to the whole of humanity. He is an integral part of who we are. When He said “I am the way, the truth and the life”, that wasn’t an idle boast. It’s fundamental truth!
Jesus is so much more than the legal key to salvation. Salvation is so much more than the key to eternal life. The salvation we received in Jesus connects us to the Godhead just as it was always meant to be. Jesus is the second Adam. I’ve known that most of my life but never really thought about what it means. Adam was the first created human. God breathed life into his body. Jesus as second Adam is fully human. That means He is our forerunner. Just as we are descended from the first Adam so we are from the second. We are family with Him. Jesus is the head of our family.
In Adam we were created in God’s likeness. In Jesus we are becoming more and more like Him.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (AMP)