Suppose you are God and decide to lead a special group of people out of ancient Egypt where they had been slaves for almost 500 years. At the right time you bring them out of Egypt with an incredible display of mighty miracles. In one final demonstration of your power, you show them that it is only by covering their dwelling with the blood of the most innocent of creatures, a lamb, that they can be spared judgment. You continue to teach them a pattern. You bring deserved judgment on an evil Egyptian nation and kill the firstborn child in every household. You separate your people from the influence of an evil world. You bring them through a sea with a wall of water standing on their right and on their left – to demonstrate that they are being baptised into a new life. Yet, incredibly, they immediately return to their evil ways. They build idols to other gods. They refuse to enter the land which you have provided. They are a stubborn people. But you have a plan.
Suppose you allow your chosen people to spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness in order to teach them many lessons. You teach them that they must depend wholly on you for their sustenance and that they must come back to you each day for refilling. You teach them that they will be healed only by a symbol of sin raised up on a wooden pole. You teach them that they must put their sins upon something other than themselves because they can never pay for their own sins. You teach them that life-giving water comes from a rock. You teach them that it is only by the shedding of innocent blood that their sins can be forgiven. Each year they must bring an innocent creature – a spotless lamb – and slit its throat in a gruesome, bloody sacrifice. It makes no sense. But you are laying a pattern.
Suppose that after 40 years in a wilderness you decide that it is finally time to bring them into a special land made just for them. You delay until the people living in that land had been given every possible opportunity to turn from their wicked ways. Then you win battle after battle for your people. You show them that you are giving this land to them. You drop walls of impregnable cities … You hurtle meteorites from space to destroy enemy armies … You stop the sun in the sky at their request … You drop giants with a single stone … You destroy entire enemy armies at the request of those who love you. Yet your people still refuse to obey.
Time after time you send messengers to tell your people how they are to behave. Yet always they drift back into their evil ways. You tell them over and over again that you are going to send a Savior. You tell them where He will be born. You tell them, hundreds of years before it happens, the exact day when He will enter Jerusalem and declare Himself their eternal King. You tell them that He will become their eternal sacrifice so that they can end their pitiful and hopeless pursuit to work their way into your favor. You describe with over 300 prophecies what you are about to do for them. Their response is to kill the messengers who bring the promises. But you love these people. Through them you will show all people how much you love them. The time for your plan has come. The time to complete the plan which you conceived before laying the foundation of the universe … the plan started before the first molecule was created and the first electromagnetic wave appeared… the plan laid out before the first animal was made and you breathed life, spirit, and part of yourself into these people whom you love so much … had arrived. You become a man. Permanently, for all eternity, you become human.
To Be Continued…