It is clear from the Bible that the Creator intended from the very beginning to enter
the world that he had created, as a human being. His purpose was not just to communicate
with humanity, but to become a human. He also intended to provide the means by which
human beings could be translated from the mere physical world into an infinitely
greater spiritual world. Ordinary flesh and blood cannot exist in the spiritual realm.
For a person to pass from this 3 dimensional world into the spiritual realm, sometimes
called the Heavenlies, requires regeneration and a level of purity that is naturally
unobtainable. It requires a lifestyle that is impossible to achieve; to be so pure
in thought, motive, word and action that no person alive can carry it out. It is
not like passing an exam and achieving distinction, because the pass-mark is 100%.
Not just for a single test but every day and every hour of your life. Less than that,
and you don’t make it to Heaven.
As a youngster, my main love in life was rock-climbing. When you are 200 feet above
the ground on a sheer rock-face, one false move would be fatal. You have two options
if you don’t want to die. One is to climb with perfection and never make a mistake
throughout the entire climb. The other is to have a rope to catch you if you fall.
The lead climber would not have a top-rope and had to climb flawlessly until he reached
a place of safety and could belay or tie on to a sturdy protrusion. Sometimes he
would hammer a metal spike called a piton into a crack in the rock face for extra
support. He then brings up the other climbers, who are fully supported by the top-rope.
In coming to earth as a human in the form of Jesus, God provided the equivalent of
the lead climber. He did not make any mistakes, but His perfection allows us to make
mistakes and still survive. Without Him we are doomed. No analogy is perfect, but
this illustrates the point.
God’s eternal plan was to come to the world He created to be a substitute for each
person, to go ahead and make the way to enable us to enter Heaven without having
the ability to live the perfect life. He lived the perfect life on our behalf. This
is indeed good news for us mortals.
God is a spiritual being of whom the greatest attribute is Love. Love requires an
object. He had previously created many beings as already mentioned, like angels,
which were programmed to obey Him. But love is not satisfied with a conditioned response.
It would be like developing a robot or computer programme to make all the responses
to appear to love the designer. That would be most unsatisfactory. A loving relationship
requires both parties to voluntarily give of themselves unselfishly, involving passion,
romance and many other attributes that are difficult to put into words. So God has
a problem: how to create beings to love that are not automatically programmed to
love, but who would voluntarily respond in the right way without being made to.
Marriage and sexual union were given to us to enable us to partially understand what
this is all about. God is the type of the male or husband and the human race is the
type of the female or wife. This great spiritual being went to enormous lengths to
create for himself this ‘wife’. Picture it as though he is half of a sphere and mankind
is represented by the other half and one day they will come together they will make
up a whole. It is hard to visualise the reality, but this may be a helpful analogy.
The great plan of creation is to bring about that union at the end of time, which
will then last for eternity.
The problem is that God is unbelievable pure and anything that is impure coming close
to him would immediately be destroyed.
Consider an analogy. Just suppose the sun had a personality and fell in love with
the Earth. The sun would want to come close and embrace the Earth, but the result
would be that everything comprising the Earth would be burned up and destroyed. The
Earth would just be absorbed and disappear. All that would be left would be the same
elements as make up the sun.
So it is with mankind and God. If he were to embrace us in our sinfulness and rebellion
we would be consumed. Natural man does not want to be embraced by God. The price
is too high. It means allowing the self to be destroyed. God gave man a code to live
by to attain that purity to avoid destruction, but no man has ever been able to attain
that level of perfection. So, as the Bible says ‘ALL have sinned and fallen short
of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) and therefore all are destined for destruction.
What a horrible dilemma for God. But from the beginning, God, knowing the future
had made a plan. The plan was that he would trade places with each individual who
was willing, and die Himself in order that they could live eternally. It was an amazing
and outrageous plan to fulfil the law and pay the penalty, without actually killing
the object of his love. Now this may sound simple, but we humans do not fully understand
the magnitude of that transaction. Somehow God had to convey this message to the
human race and then carry out the plan in person. Both were absolutely necessary.
Mankind had to understand what was going to happen so that when God carried out the
plan, people would be willing and able to carry out their side of the transaction.
So there were 3 elements to the transaction: the Plan, communication of the Plan
and execution of the Plan.
The Plan was thought up before the creation of the world, before time began. Communication
of the plan to mankind took about 4000 years. Execution of the plan took a further
2000 years. The execution is two sides of a covenant: God’s side and Man’s side.
Throughout the Bible there is this underlying plan that is never fully understood
until you reach the end of the book. Even though it was written over a period of
1500 years, by about 40 writers, there is a consistent message that is building throughout
the Bible concerning the Plan. Quite possibly none of the writers actually understood
the big picture. They could only see and write about their little piece of the puzzle.
Much of the truth and meaning appears to have been deliberately hidden, forcing the
reader to search to find a deeper meaning. At first reading it appears to be just
a history of a nation called Israel with stories about its heroes and villains, but
underlying all of this, for those who are persistent and want to find it, there is
a much deeper message, which permeates the whole book.
Maybe it is only in these ‘last days’ that we can actually begin to get the clearer
picture. Even a hundred years ago, some of the things predicted in the Bible would
not have seemed possible and were therefore regarded as allegory. For example, the
existence of Israel as a nation in its own land would not have seemed possible and
so the references to this in Biblical version of the end times would have been presumed
to be allegorical.
So we are extremely privileged to be able to have this wider perception. Scientific
and technological advancement, which had been thought to draw us away from God, rather
are enabling us to better understand and even fulfil some of the prophecies, as well
as giving us a better grasp of the true meaning of life, if we are open and willing
to search for it. There has been no better and exciting time to be alive than now,
to be able to see 6000 years of promise coming to fruition before our very eyes and
be actually be a part of it, playing a key role in the fulfilment of God’s eternal