This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
(Ephesians 3:11-13 ESV)
Over the past few days Paul has been explaining the plan God had for the universe. That plan was to bring all people – Jew and Gentile – together into one eternal family. In so doing the angels in heaven are also learning about God’s infinite wisdom by watching how He directs and interacts with the events on earth.
The entire plan God had for rescuing the human race from the consequences of their sin is realized in Christ Jesus. There is no other way for a person to be cleansed from the sin they are covered in than to accept Jesus’ death as necessary [John 3:16, 14:6].
Right from the moment Adam & Eve sinned God knew that He would someday bring forth a descendant of Eve that would undo the trouble Satan caused in the Garden of Eden. Satan would be crushed while that descendant (who turned out to be Jesus) would be merely bruised [Genesis 3:15].
Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament we see this plan unfold. We also see references to this coming descendant, including information about his birth, his life, and his manner of death [Psalm 16:10, 22:18, 34:20; Isaiah 19:20 et. al].
God repeatedly told the Jewish people that they needed a savior and that it would be God Himself who would provide that savior [Isaiah 43:11]. But the Jews did not believe this. They thought they were special and would go to heaven simply because they were Jewish.
Likewise today many people have their own plan to get to heaven. They think they can live a more-or-less moral life and get there. They think they can keep the Ten Commandments (or at least claim to) and get there. They think they can slaughter people of different faiths than theirs and get there. But none of that will work. All of that is nothing more than human hubris. Such an attitude gives self credit for being “good enough” when, actually, no human being is good enough to get to heaven based on their own life accomplishments [John 3:3; Ephesians 2:8-9 et. al].
Heaven is a perfectly holy place. There is not even one drop of sin there. It is the kind of place that man dreams about creating on earth but never will. As such, it is only available to those whose sins have been forgiven – people God now sees as without sin. Entry into this wonderful eternal place was made possible (realized) as a result of the work of Jesus, namely His death.
Jesus was not simply some historical figure. His incarnation, the time and place of His coming into the world, His sufferings and death, were meticulously planned by God. His life had a purpose – to save the human race from the consequence of its sin.
This is God’s plan. It is His only plan. It has been His plan from the beginning. There is no plan B.
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