April 6, 2008 ~ Bay Ridges Long Term Care Centre


Two weeks ago we celebrated our liberation from sin and death through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour. No matter what others may say, this is the single most important event in all history; it was through Jesus’ death and resurrection that God took upon Himself that which was needed to achieve our salvation. He did this because we could not do it for ourselves; because, in the words of Max Lucado,


He would rather go to Hell for you than go to Heaven without you.

Max Lucado, “The Gift for all People”


Yet, reading the story, seeing in print what actually happened to Jesus that night so long ago, we might be tempted to ask why He did not defend Himself. Surely the trial was a sham, even Pilate tried to have Jesus released. Jesus Himself said that He could have called upon His Father in Heaven and had an army of angels deliver Him. For all our knowledge of why Jesus had to become a man, die and rise again to life, we sometimes seem to wonder if it wasn’t just some sort of horrible accident that could have been avoided. Or, knowing that the plan of salvation existed as early as the Garden of Eden:


Genesis 3:14-15 ESV  The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.  (15)  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."


think that maybe the rebellion of Adam and Eve took God by surprise and left Him scrambling for an alternate plan, one He hadn’t thought of before.


But, to quote most of the detectives who have ever appeared in life or in literature: “This was no accident!” The death of Jesus, for all appearance to the contrary, was not the result of a chance chain of circumstances. It was not something that God had to come up with when suddenly confronted by the fall of our first parents. Salvation is the fulfillment of a plan that was made by God before man ever drew breath, before light ever touched the shores of Earth’s oceans, before the immortal words:


Genesis 1:1-2 ESV  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  (2)  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.


Micah prophesied the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. This is, in fact, the very prophecy that King Herod referred to when he gave the wise men directions to the area where Jesus was born.


Micah 5:2 ESV  But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.


It is worth noting that the words translated “of old” signify not just of very ancient times but of everlasting times. Other English translations use the word “everlasting,” which is a slightly better translation. The idea that Micah is trying to get across is that Jesus is not a Johnny-come-lately, the new kid on the block, but that Jesus is God Himself in human form.


The Bible consistently teaches that Jesus was not an emergency solution to an unexpected problem but that He is THE solution that was planned from before the very beginning.


King David refers to Israel as the congregation of God, which He has purchased from eternity. Israel was purchased by God, not only at its delivery from Egyptian slavery but even earlier, in eternity before the creation of the world.


Psalms 74:2, 12 ESV  Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage! Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt…Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.


In Revelation, John tells of the punishment that will fall on those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life “before the foundation of the world.” God’s had written the names of the redeemed in the Book of Life before He created the world.


Revelation 13:7-8 ESV  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,  (8)  and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.


We talk often of the love that moved Jesus to die for us while we were sinners, and that is a tremendous love, far greater than most men show; but it pales in comparison to the love that moved God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to create the universe knowing that the Son would die at the hands of His creation. Peter writes that because we were redeemed at so high a cost, the blood of Christ, we have a salvation that cannot be moved. A salvation based on Jesus Christ, who was ordained before the foundation of the world.


1 Peter 1:17-21 ESV  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,  (18)  knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  (19)  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  (20)  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you  (21)  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.


I like that phrase “foundation of the world.” Many years ago, one of my father’s friends gave me a summer job as carpenter’s assistant. My job that summer was to help the carpenter build a house, from foundation to shingle. The interesting thing was that we had a plan of the house even before we laid the foundation. Before we dug any holes, built any forms or poured any concrete we had a plan. We knew before the beginning where we would end. This is the very same terminology that the verses quoted here are using. Before God ever laid the foundation of the world He had a plan. He knew before beginning where He would end. As the prophet Isaiah said:


Isaiah 46:8-13 ESV  "Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors,  (9)  remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,  (10)  declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'  (11)  calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.  (12)  "Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness:  (13)  I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory."


King David emphasizes this when he says that the love of God stretches, as it were, from one eternity (that before the creation of the world) to an other eternity (that at the end of the world).


Psalms 103:15-22 ESV  As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;  (16)  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.  (17)  But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,  (18)  to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.  (19)  The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.  (20)  Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!  (21)  Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!  (22)  Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!


We as men see two eternities with creation as a sort of blip in the middle. In reality, though, since God is eternal, creation exists under the umbrella of God’s eternity. His love for us, therefore, is as eternal as He is. There was never a time, before creation, during creation or after creation, when He has not loved us. There was never a time when He did not plan for our salvation.


You were not saved by accident. Jesus was never a secondary plan that God had to come up with because Adam and Eve and all there children failed to live up to His expectations. God’s plan to send Christ as your saviour predates creation. You were written in His book before the world ever began. He had planned to save you before you were born. He has loved you. He does love you. He will love you. Forever. No, it was not an accident. Thank God that it was not. For now my creation and my salvation mean something much more. They mean that God is willing to love me and save me in spite of all that He already know I will do.