Our natural state is to be one with God. We were before the fall. We were in the communion of God and we shared the goodness, love and exuberant life that is God. We were part of God. Satan’s ruse of separating humans from God succeeded. For a time. But this had already been foreseen. God was not dismayed. A plan was already in place by which the fissure that had opened up between man and God would be healed and humanity would enter a closer communion than had been enjoyed before the fall. Man and God would be interwoven in the person of Jesus Christ.
God is love. There’s more to this than meets the eye. The Communion of the trinity- three persons, one God is love as a state of being. Love and life are one at the hub of the universe, but love is prior to life and gives life. Jesus came among us as the Love of God and the life of the world.
HIS CLOTHES OR YOURS
Francois Du Toit observes that “God did not clothe Adam with the skin of an animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not God, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make God look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself! And ultimately it was to prophetically prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation. Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin, in a Son; and the Lion of Judah would become the Lamb of God in order to free our minds to re-discover his image and likeness in our skin! See 1 Peter 1:2.)” (1)
The point is that God did more than give us skins. He gave us Himself in His Son Jesus Christ. You get more than appearances when Christ is your life. More than externalities that you have put on as pieties you get His life as your life. It’s called changing from the inside – except that you are not made more of a moral clothes horse. You are manifested in you own skin, your own self as an expression of Jesus Christ.
GRACED TO BE
Incarnation is us graced with Christ’s person as our person. “To preach the Gospel of the unconditional grace of God in that unconditional way is to set before people the astonishingly good news of what God has freely provided for us in the vicarious humanity of Jesus. To repent and believe in Jesus Christ and commit myself to him on that basis means that I do not need to look over my shoulder all the time to see whether I have really given myself personally to him, whether I really believe and trust him, whether my faith is at all adequate, for in faith it is not upon my faith, my believing or my personal commitment that I rely, but solely upon what Jesus Christ has done for me, in my place and on my behalf, and what he is and always will be as he stands in for me before the face of the Father.” (2)
Christ our life is the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Apostles teaching. More complicated ‘gospels’ are what they are: ‘No gospel at all’.
(1) Du Toit, Francois. Divine Embrace (p. 5). Mirror Word Publishing. Kindle Edition.
(2) Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ, p.95.