"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6 (NIV)
Long ago, in eternity past, a magnificent decision was made by the three Persons of the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit created a being that was made in their image. This being would be the most cherished and adored creature ever to breathe the breath of life. The masterpiece of the Holy Trinity was made to bring glory to the Godhead. The being would be given the intense need to love and be loved. A God-shaped vacuum would be placed in the very depths of the human soul to awaken an ache that would need to be satisfied. That need would only be truly satisfied in the worship and adoration of the Godhead by their masterpiece, but a crucial decision was made by the Creator. He would not require the creature to love Him back, even though He had every right to demand that love. The beloved object of three Persons would be allowed to reject the Creator.
And so a man named Adam was placed in an environment in which that rejection of His Creator would have to be a deliberate choice. Every need was met. Adam was fully cared for and when God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, He created a beautiful mate for him. Adam and Eve had everything they could possibly want--complete communion with and the blessing of God. The Creator gave them free reign over the beautiful garden. There was only one condition that needed to be met by the couple: they did not have access to one tree in the garden. A test would be put before the created one and the Creator to determine whether the awful ability to choose between perfect joy and human depravity could be rightly made. In the middle of perfection, Adam and Eve rejected perfection for their own sinful desires. But a plan for redeeming them had been set in place long before the act of rebellion was committed and long before the following words were penned by the apostle John millennia later:
"...belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Revelation 13:8 (NIV)
My beloved sisters, the horrible dilemma that faced Adam and Eve that day long ago in the middle of utopia is what you and I struggle with today. God has given us the right to reject Him, to disobey, and to involve ourselves in wasteful and meaningless activities with our misplaced worship of earthly pleasures. We can spend an entire lifetime trying to find purpose in what will never satisfy us. We hurt and judge others with eyes that cannot look past our own neediness. We trade pure joy for fleeting happiness that rests on shifting sands of circumstances instead of on the solid Rock.
And isn't it just like our Creator to not demand the glory that He deserves. With all the longing of a Father's heart, He waits patiently for us to see that His way of saving the world was in sending His beloved Son, Jesus, to an earthly life in which He suffered rejection again and again from those He created. It was really the only way that this stubborn and bruised heart of mine could dare to trust Him. And so in Christ setting aside His glory while He was on earth, He became the Savior for all humankind. Christ doesn't demand my worship; He woos me to worship Him. He makes Himself irresistible. He is faultless with a perfection that I cannot find in anyone or anything else. And because of Christ's humility, I see the brilliant perfection of the infinite mind of God in providing salvation to His beloved creation through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, that was slain from the creation of the world.
Jesus, may my dying breath have your name on my lips. You have saved me from my worst enemy--sinful me.