What Really happened at the cross?
It was the dawn of mankind. In a world of perfection and unspeakable beauty, man had been given a home – a perfect place to live out an exuberant, joy-filled life. It is difficult to imagine what a perfect place it was – a place of no sin, no pain, no injustice, no tears, no sadness, no hurt and no disappointment. In this place, mankind could fulfill every purpose for which it was created and find deep meaning, perfect intimacy and an ecstatic lifestyle.
Our story picks up a few hours after the fall of mankind. Adam and Eve have just done what they were told not to do. They were given a simple choice: to keep what God had given them or to believe a lie and give it all up. The enemy had just used one of his two standard deceptions which he has used for all mankind since then. The first is “did God really say?” and the second is to question their true identity - all this to get them to give up what God had already freely given them. The strategy was simple: He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” God did indeed say they could eat from any tree except from the tree in the middle of the garden and that they must not touch it or they would die. “You’ll certainly not die” the enemy said to the woman, “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Her husband was with her and said nothing. He was standing right there and did nothing to stop it - the first act of male wimpishness. They both ate and the eyes were indeed opened but they did not become like God. They chose to believe a lie about God’s true motives and about their true identity in Him - an astounding moment in human history so inconceivable, and the consequences so unbearable!
The Godhead meeting
Imagine the meeting among the Godhead in that moment:
Jesus turns to the Father and says, “It is as you said Father - they have sinned”, he said with great sadness in his heart.
The Father turns to his beloved Son and replies with a depth of love in his voice, “It is time Son. The only way this can change is to do what we planned before the beginning of time.”
“I will go Father. I will lay down my life for them that they may have eternal life and be reunited to us in love.”
The Father turned to the Holy Spirit and said, “They need to learn that they need a Savior - before the Son lays down his life for them. Give them a guardian - the Law and show them they are incapable of keeping the Law and when they fail at all their attempts, they will come to understand that they need a Savior and that their own righteousness will never redeem them.”
The Holy Spirit stares knowingly into the Father’s eyes, “I will do as you say Father. I will find prophets among them and I will give them the Law and prepare the way for Jesus.”
Jesus thoughtfully interjects, “You know Father, even when I pay for their sins and redeem them back to us, they will still sin.”
“Yes”, He answers, “ Then we will give them a new nature that is part of ours so that they can participate in the divine nature. We will make them one with us.”
Jesus adds with sadness, “Yes, Father. But they will still sin”.
The Father rises to his feet, loudly and powerfully declares, “Then we shall take an oath that we will never hold their sin against them again. All sin will be put on you, Son, and you will pay for their sin once for all - breaking the power of sin and death over their lives forever!” There is triumphant agreement in the Godhead! “And we will take residence in them, making them one with us that they may know the pure ecstasy of our love and our intimacy.” The Father continues, “Even so, they will need someone to guide them and to lead them into all truth.”
Immediately the Holy Spirit volunteers, “I will go and be their Guide and lead them into all truth. I will be their comforter and their counselor. I will show them Jesus and the beauty of His person that they may be the Bride you prepared for him Father.”
The Father confirms the Holy Spirit’s plan, “and you precious Holy Spirit will be the power of the church and equip the beautiful Bride for the Son. She will be spotless and without sin - not by her own doing but by the perfect sacrifice of the Son. We will give her the gift of righteousness and she will be holy and blameless”.
After a little thought, the Father adds, “I will give each of them grace gifts so that each one they play a role as they learn to love and to serve one another just as we do. I’ll go before them and prepare every good deed for them to walk in. And you my precious Holy Spirit, will guide them so that they may know the purpose of their lives and that to which we have called them.” The Father turns to the Son with great joy in his face and declares, “and you my dear Son shall have your Bride - beautiful, perfect and permanent union with us.” The Godhead breaks into great celebration and singing. The plan is in motion!