Monday, 24 March 2008

Easter Ponderings...

Just been pondering over Easter about the Cross. Having experienced and celebrated my 4th Easter, I started to wonder if Jesus died on the cross solely for the purpose of saving us from sin. And naturally, the next question popped up: if Adam and Eve did not sin, would Jesus still have to die on the cross?

I asked some of our brothers and they agreed that there was never a plan B. As in God knew from the beginning that creation would sin, that Jesus will die on the cross even before Eve considered eating any fruit. So I wondered why would God want to make a sinful creation? And how is it that God would call such a sinful creation good?

Leon's essay on Hebrews seemed to answer my question spot on. This is an excerpt:
"You see, whilst the Letter to the Hebrews has much to say about the awesome, sure and secure salvation that God has wrought for us in Christ, a careful reading of this letter shows that it is a blinding exposition on the perfecting of the Only Begotten Son of God through the Cross. Everything else – creation, Adam and Eve, Israel, the law and yes, even sin and salvation - everything is simply the backdrop set up for the Cross of Christ to take centre stage, the Cross on which the Only Begotten Son of the Father is to be made perfect in love through this cursed and completely undeserved death in perfect obedience to the Father.”

Perhaps it is true that all the world is a stage. Just as how a world class swimmer cannot show how good and fast he is when he competes at school but can do so when he triumphs in the ultimate competition at the Olympics; similarly God has so much love and power to show that he needs a stage to properly exhibit it.

This stage is thus creation. Creation created by Christ for Christ to show the love of Christ. Even before sin entered creation, God separated light from darkness. For one cannot see darkness unless there is no light; when Jesus entered creation, he has to be absent in some places or we will not be able to see darkness or see how bad sin is. God created darkness by withdrawing light but he did not create sin, for sin was not created but a product of being lesser, of being good but not perfect.

I like my damsel in distress analogy. All good proper movies need a hero who dies for the damsel, but if the damsel does not get into trouble, how is the hero going to die for her? How can he sweep her off her feet and bring her to paradise?

Thus creation was created good, but not perfect, it sinned and got into trouble. But Jesus, the hero is able to save the damsel from hell by sacrificing himself and being a ransom, thus having the stage and means to display his awesome love and awesome power over death. That Jesus is able to make creation one with her, perfect and spotless and sweep her off her feet to eternal paradise.

Another problem popped up as I wondered why God would be angry with sin if God created us not perfect knowing that we will sin. Then again, this can be understandable when a couple considers having babies, we all know how babies can morph into immensely painful and exasperating teenagers yet we still want to have babies. But when they do mess up and do drugs and call Jesus pooh, we will be very angry and sad and will be even angrier and even more disappointed when they do not listen to us and repent. How much more is it with God our eternal Father in heaven.

There is one problem with the damsel in distress analogy though. Whilst the hero often takes the bullet as payment for the enemy, or pays the ransom so that the damsel can be freed from captives, the ransom paid at the cross is to God and by God. Not a ransom paid to Satan to set us free. We are doomed to hell not because of Satan but because we have broken God’s holy requirements which condemns us to eternal separation

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