Monday, December 2, 2013

Solus Christus: Where Does It All Begin?

Where does it all begin? Where do the story of redemption and the road to Christmas and Advent begin? Our second meditation of Advent begins long before Jesus’ incarnation. It all begins at the very beginning with the creation of man:
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Ge. 1:26-31)
We must begin with God creating man, for we would not, of course, need redemption and the incarnation wouldn’t be necessary if we didn’t exist in the first place. We also need to remember that God the Father was not there in the beginning alone. John tells us in his gospel that Jesus, as the second person in the Godhead and coeternal with the Father, was there too at the beginning:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (Jn. 1:1-4)
Furthermore, not only was Jesus present at creation but Paul reminds us that Jesus was the member of the Godhead who actually did the act of creating (the Father commanded, the Son created, and the Spirit brought it to completion and sustained it):
16 For by him [i.e. Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col. 1:16-17)
That is where the story of Advent begins. Our Lord and Savior—the second person of the Trinity—created the human race long before He became one of us. Indeed, since He is sovereign and omniscient, He created humanity knowing He would, at the fullness of time, have to become human like us and die for His people to accomplish their redemption. Of course, this was all for the glory of God, but it was also for the “joy set before Him,” and that joy was the redemption of His people whom He loves intensely. Think about that: Jesus created the world knowing all along that we would rebel and that He would have to become one of us, suffer, die, and be raised to save His people. How deep, rich, and intense is such love! That is the love with which He has loved His people like you and me.

Dwell on that this day of Advent. Ask God to make that intense love so real to you that you can’t help but go out into the world and live a life overflowing with thankfulness to Him. Ask Him to make that love so real this Christmas season that no material thing can draw your heart away from it.

By His Grace,

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