As I read Mark Moore’s devotional book, Encounters with Christ, I was hit with this thought; “Jesus died, not because of the treachery of Judas, the cowardice of the disciples, or the avarice of the leaders. He died because of a deliberate decision in the garden before any of these characters came on the scene” (p. 181).
Obviously this isn’t a new thought, but it is a truth that needs to be revisited from time to time.
It is a mind blowing truth to think that God planned to redeem Creation through the sacrifice of Jesus. Equally mind blowing is the reality that Jesus choose to leave Heaven, live a life as a man, and be executed on a cross so that you and I might experience salvation. These thoughts lead me to ask this question: Why would God make this choice?
I want to suggest that God went through the heart break of sin, rebellion, and rejection for the opportunity to create for Himself a people that loved Him above everything else in the world.
Reflect on what the apostle Peter wrote in his first letter:
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:17-21; ESV)
Now jump over to chapter 2:9:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (ESV)
Here we see not only God’s desire to have a people who are holy and faithful, but we also read of our responsibility in being good stewards of God’s amazing grace. Since Jesus chose to die in our place, to open up the possibility that we could become God’s holy people, then we can choose to live lives that are worthy of that sacrifice. That is the choice that we must make. That is our responsibility.