The study of theology (the study of God) has been a phenomenal experience for me. It has drawn me closer to God, filling me with more awe and wonder at His workings, and most excitingly has encouraged my love for Him to grow so much deeper.
Most amazing to me is how much didn’t have to happen.
Creation didn’t have to happen. God had a beautiful relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit long before the world began.
People didn’t need to exist. Heaven is full of angels who love and honour God in worship.
Forgiveness of Original Sin didn’t need to be done. God could have turned his back on the entire human race at that point because we are not here to keep him from boredom.
Jesus never had to come to earth. He was comfortable in the heavens, dwelling in God’s love.
The cross never had to happen. Jesus was fully God and could have chosen to overcome to situation or not submit to God’s Will for forgiveness.
Yet. It all happened.
God created a beautiful world. He was angered by the snare of sin in the garden (yet not surprised – as Satan had already sinned against God long before the fruit was given to Eve.)
He found ways to show his chosen people mercy even before Jesus entered the world, knowing fully that complete restoration was coming.
He knew the exact right time and hour to send Jesus. He knew exactly how to do it. He sent him both as a man and fully God, allowing Jesus the ability to be separate from us as a human species by being God and also by allowing us the ability to connect with him on a personal level knowing he shared our temptations in the flesh.
Every single part of God’s plan was perfectly laid out.
When Jesus was overwhelmed with sorrow, just before his disciples fled and abandoned him as he faced the knowledge of the excruciatingly painful death that was coming momentarily, while literally bearing all the guilt and shame of the world’s sin he begged God to make it happen an other way. And still, he completely submitted himself saying, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
He was fully God. He had all the potential and capability to change the outcome. Not to mention, he ultimately could have rebelled just like Satan did (or even taken Satan up on his offers during the 40 days Jesus fasted for, while totally abandoning God and never redeeming us – God’s creation.) So, why wouldn’t he?
Jesus knew the Father’s love. Back before the world was even created, there was a relationship that was so full of love and perfection that all relationships should be modelled after it: That of Jesus and his Father.
Yet knowing also how much God loved us, His creation, Jesus was willing to step out of the Heavens and into the earth, away from the direct presence of his Father’s love to live a life of example for us, and to die for our atonement, reconciling the creation with the Creator.
Prior to that, he basked in God’s love. He felt the glory of God’s presence. He worshiped the great I AM and out of that perfect love, he was strong enough to live and die in the manner that he did simply because he wanted us to have a chance to know that great love too.
None of it had to happen, but it did. God created the world. He forgave. He reconciled with us. He allowed his son to suffer so that in our sufferings, we can find strength that’s already been modeled.
And Jesus knew it was all going to be worth it so that some day you and I can sit in the Father’s presence, to bask in His love, to worship Him among angels. To be free of pain and misery, and full of the most complete and perfect love there ever was. There is literally no greater gift.
And that’s why it all happened as it did: Love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8, NIV