For God So Loved…

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Since God has created everything and owns all of creation, what really costs Him anything?

In less than a flash of light, God could recreate everything so that our solar system had two suns, our feet were replaced by fins, our lifespan was measured by centuries instead of years. He who created the atoms and ordered them into molecules could easily make the ground soft so that we never scraped our knees or make our every wish come true. God could change the laws of physics so that the vast distances of the universe would be nothing more than a casual stroll in the park.

Science fiction depicts alternate universes where our identical selves are living out completely different lives because of decisions or actions that took place differently than in this universe. But God really could constantly make alternate realities and we wouldn’t even know it because all our memories would be based in the alternate life. One could go on and on with this. If it were in God’s nature to toy with us or treat creation like a video game, alternatives would be the law and not the stuff of imagination.

Nothing in all of creation really cost God anything since He already owned everything. But God allowed for an exception.

In creating people, God placed within us the capacity to choose. Choice only exists if there are alternatives. For reasons only God can understand, He wanted creatures who chose to love Him, not beings programmed like robots that had to behave a certain way. We know from what the Bible tells us and from our own experience that as a race and as individuals we have often chosen very badly, tragically at times. And even when we choose well we find that we are hardly as consistent as we wish we were.

 IT WAS A CHOICE

God could have washed His hands of us from the start, but He did not. He chose to do something to provide us the alternative that would not only be the best for ourselves, but would also allow us to reach the goal He intended for us in the first place: to love and seek fellowship with Him.

Before the foundation of the world, God had already made up His mind that we needed something from outside of us that would come into us and make us different. This plan of rescue is what we call salvation.

How could God do this in such a way as to prove His deepest love?

He could have prescribed a regimen like a doctor who tells us to exercise more and eat less. But then we would become slaves to the regimen. And as with exercise and diets we would have good days and bad days.

He could have dispatched an angel to the rescue but then that would be sending one created being to help another. Salvation was not going to come by divine delegation.

No. Salvation would cost Him something. But since God owns everything, since all possibilities are open before Him, since all that is must obey Him in an instant, what could possibly cost Him anything?

The Resurrection sealed the offer of an alternative
to our life we have so terribly mucked up.
WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT ANYMORE.

The Bible answers that question. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son… (John 3:16). What God did not own, what He could not recreate, the only thing in all of the imaginable universes and circumstances that cost Him anything was His Son. There was only one Son. There could be only one Son. Another Son could not be created. And since the Son is a coequal person of the Trinity that is God, it was God who was given. This is staggering. The only thing that could cost God anything cost Him everything.

A RUN ON THE BANK 

Someone said that when Jesus came, it was God pulling everything out of His pockets and then turning them inside out. But it was more than that. It was emptying the bank account, throwing the clothes out of the drawer, handing over the keys to the car and abandoning any means to replace any of it. But that’s still not enough to describe it.

Jesus came and lived with the likes of us. The likes of us.

Think of your worst moment. He came for you in that moment.

Think of the most horrific crimes of humanity. He came for us in those crimes.

Think of your worst fantasies of violence or lust or greed. He came for you in those fantasies.

Our gratitude was shown by beating Him mercilessly, crushing a crown of thorns on His head, riveting His hands to a splintered cross and then standing around mocking Him in His pain. But He gave and gave and gave again until on the cross He gave His last breath. “It is finished,” He said.

God could have left it at that, but He had another great gift coming. After a couple of the darkest days in the history of humanity, He gave to us that glorious moment of Resurrection. Christ was already free but the Resurrection showed that His gift to the human race had not yet been bequeathed until that moment. When the stone rolled away, it was not only to let Him out, but also to let us into the Kingdom of God.

God proves His love by giving the only thing that cost Him anything. The Resurrection sealed the offer of an alternative to our life we have so terribly mucked up. We don’t have to live like that anymore.

It doesn’t matter that God could create alternative universes or change around the creation where we now live. He has given you this life, this moment, this opportunity. If He is speaking to you now, will you turn away from the only One who has fully known you but loves you completely? He came for you. For you.

This is the day of salvation. Come home.

Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee, Editor in Chief