Before the Foundation
I've changed things up in my morning quiet time. For the past year I've been reading through the Bible, morning by morning, according to the M'Cheyne reading plan. That was an exciting process, a "grand tour," but now I feel the need to settle into a single book for a while, read it over and over, journal it, memorize passages, dwell in it. Have you ever tried this sort of thing? I've done so on only a few occasions, but it has been very rewarding.
I've chosen Paul's letter to the Ephesians as my place to dwell, and have spent these first few days in chapter 1, verses 3 to 10. Amazing stuff! Talk about "grand tour," in this short passage Paul speaks of what was in the plan and purpose of God from "before the foundations of the world." That plan was to restore his creation, which he knew would "fall," and to reunite it to himself forever.
And all this hinges upon Christ. The transformation of "all things" from cursed to blessed, from unholy to holy, from sinful to blameless, all this hinges upon Christ. The whole plan is said to be "in Christ." We are said to have redemption and freedom "through his blood." Christ's "fullness of time" coming was the consummation of a plan that was hatched in the Trinity even before the creation took place. And this plan involved, amazingly, the "choosing" of those who would be saved.
Think of this a moment. God's plan for creation included a knowledge that rebellion and sin would enter in, provoking a necessary separation (a "great divorce") between God and man, who had been intended as the very pinnacle of the plan. But before He ever set the plan in motion, before the construction project of creation had even begun, one member of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, volunteered himself to be the vehicle for the restoration of all this fallen creation to its intended perfection.
And here's the thing: that plan included you, if you have believed on Jesus. Think of it. From the beginning God took account of the rebellion, made a way of salvation nevertheless possible through Jesus Christ, and out of many generations chose those individuals whom he would include in this great plan of restoration. So, to put it another way, in the perfection of the Godhead, before ever the created universe was set in motion, the plan was hatched to save many. And Jesus said, "I will go on their behalf. I will do what is necessary. I will take on mortality, I will bear the violent malice of evil men, I will face down the devil and take the wrath for sin, I will even endure separation from the Father, for the sake of [insert name here]." And all this, I emphasize, before God had ever said, "Let there be light."
I stand in awe.