“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8)
I can imagine the scene, the Godhead flowing in unity through five glorious days of creation. Watching the earth as it makes its full rotation, the evening and morning ending the fifth day. Then the sixth day begins with a truly wonderful goal in mind. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: ….” (Gen 1:26a) This truly would be a first. The God of the universe wants to expand the Family of Heaven. Bestowing upon Adam and Eve creative abilities like His own, to extend dominion, and welcome them in as His own children. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:27) All was well for a season, man abided by the guidelines of the Garden of Eden. Until, “…they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Gen 3:8-9)
You might know the rest of this tragic story. Adam and Eve confess disobeying and eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After receiving correction from the Father, they had to leave the Garden. Man would no longer walk in unity with their Daddy the same way. Ever since then great efforts have been made to restore once again all that was lost. The plan of salvation was instantly put into motion. It was going to take time and a lot of sacrifice, but it was worth it to the Family of God.
Fast forward some 4000 years. The Son of God is born unto men. The time of redeeming back that which was lost had come. The stated goal: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Co 15:22) You see in order for this to work, Jesus had to undo what Adam did. He needed to be obedient and walk upon the earth in the way Adam was meant too. In doing so, He could then be fit to sacrifice His own life to make payment against the sin of Adam. The Holy Word of God tells us “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23) Adam’s actions brought death and Jesus’ actions bring life. This is why Jesus is called the last or second Adam. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1Co 15:45) We continue on, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1Co 15:47)
There was only one way to remove the curse of sin and this was it. The Son of God had to come down from Heaven to earth. He did not exalt himself in any way. “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php 2:7-8) You see “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”(Rom 8:3) It makes my brain hurt to think about the very unorthodox plan. In order for us to be like them, too truly be in their image, God sent His Son to step down from His perfect condition to take on this earth suite of sin. In doing so, the Spirit within Him can overpower the curse of death through sin. Conquering the carcass of flesh and destroying the grip of rebellion. Kind of a mouth full, I know. Yet, that is exactly what has happened. Jesus went twelve rounds with the flesh and knocked it out.
Let us cut to the next scene: Jesus died a most horrible death upon the cross. He had to die sinless. Yet without a resurrection, a perfect life and sinless death would have no power. “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” (Rom 6:9-10) You see, it was the resurrection that cemented the entire process of our redemption. Death had to be defeated and conquered. Death is what stalks us all. It had to meet its match. In this way, the wages of sin can be removed. Now through the obedience of Jesus, death had to go. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom 8:11) For those who accept and cry out “Abba Father” or “Daddy,” the curse from the first Adam has been removed. They are now translated into the kingdom of the Son of God. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col 1:13) So now, we know, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1Co 15:20-21)
Jesus told her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (Joh 20:17) I absolutely love this verse. In it, I see the family dynamic expressed fully. “Go and tell my brothers and sisters, I’m going to our Father!” To paraphrase it even more, “Go tell the siblings we are about to have a family reunion. I need to go see Dad, but I will be back.” With that, Jesus goes and presents the completion of the sacrifice to our Father. He then comes back to earth to reveal the fulfillment of the promise of God. After some time He returns to heaven, and bestows gifts upon the family through the power of The Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Then on top of that, He gives us the following assurance “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Rev 3:12)
If that were all, it would be much more than we deserve. It is not all though. There is much, much more. As the first Adam sinned and fell from God’s presence, the final Adam (Jesus) left His heavenly estate and became like sinful man. To do what the first Adam could not do. Jesus accomplished this goal and was resurrected to return to the presence of God. Restoring one of the things lost in the Garden of Eden. In order for this to be complete, we must become like him, like Jesus. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co 15:49) A spiritual metamorphosis must take place. We must enter the cocoon of God’s love and emerge as a transformed creation. Then, only then, can we fully experience His presence. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29, See also v30-39) As children of God, we bear His image and likeness. Just as my children look and think like me, we must become like Jesus the Son of God. This is the proof of our change and acceptance by the Father. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Co 3:18)
Jesus the first begotten Son, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” (Col 1:15) Came down to earth, became as humanity is, bearing sinful flesh, and raised from dead victorious, conquering Death and Hell. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb 1:3) Now our Daddy desires that “…the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Co 4:4) This destroys the darkness, and allows us to be fully transformed into their image.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
~We Shall Be Like Him – 1 John 3:2~