From very early on in this blog (back when I actually had time to publish a post once a week (because I hadn’t yet gotten married or achieved an upper-management position, or adopted an overactive dog), I began to introduce and drop cryptic hints about “The Redeemer”. This Redeemer would bridge the gap between God’s nature and our own, allowing us to attain the meaning of life through God’s plan.
Why all the build up?
Of course its rather obvious to the sophisticated reader Who I’m speaking of when I use the term “Redeemer”. So why have I talked around His identity for so long? Because the purpose of this blog isn’t to “tell”, its purpose is to “prove” – and to provide that proof in a logical and systematic manner. I didn’t want to focus who and what He is, until the revelation of His identity and appearance fit the timeline of the dispensations.
With that in mind, it’s now time to focus on who the Redeemer is, by first focusing in on
1. Why He’s needed,
2. What He needs to accomplish, and
3. What He needs to do to accomplish it.
This post will be a bit of a review and summary of much of what we have already examined.
A little background information
God wants us to spend eternity with Him. In order to do that, we need to be like him. But we are not like him. However we can choose Him since we have free will. God set up the Dispensations as a contrastive way to allow man the opportunity to choose Him on our own.
In the First Dispensation, God created the first man and woman with an intimate spiritual connection to Him and gave them complete dominion over the earth. But the first man chose himself over God and broke his (and our) innate connection with Him. That was a pretty severe and high impact mistake. It cost Adam his kingdom. But the bigger consequence was death.
That broken connection with God resulted in man losing the ability to repair, which is life. Physical life is in the blood. And spiritual life is in our thoughts. When Adam sinned, he died spiritually, and his physical body lost the ability to repair and started to degrade. Furthermore, all Adam’s off spring are born dead (without that connection to life).
But since spending eternity with dead people probably isn’t a terribly attractive proposition to God, it would seem that Adam’s actions put God’s desire in jeopardy.
How does God get what He wants?
The problem is, death is a pretty permanent state. Its kind of hard to get over. But what if there was a way to reverse the curse? What if there was a way to undo what Adam did? How would this work?
What if we had a substitute who was willing to re-take the test Adam failed? What if He, like Adam, was born with perfect blood and a perfect though process (since He would be intimately connected to God)? He could fulfill the role that Adam could not. What if He was then willing to switch places with Adam and pay the penalty for his sin? What if He gave us the opportunity to choose to become His spiritual offspring and inherit His life instead of Adams death?
This person would literally redeem Adam – and us. The good news; the GREAT news; the GREATEST news ever – is that God anticipated, ordained and promised the advent of this Redeemer! The Bible speaks volumes (literally) about Him – much of it centuries before His advent so that His coming could be understood and anticipated.
What would we need to see on the Redeemer’s resume?
Here are some of His necessary attributes that are detailed in the Bible.
He had to be God. – Had to have the nature of God, to be always and completely right and just. Thus He’d have a perfect thought process.
Had to be a physical man – so He’d have the free will to choose God. He’d literally be another Adam.
Had to be seed of a woman – born of a virgin, so that God would be His Father and He’d have perfect blood
Had to choose God over himself
Had to be experience death unjustly – as opposed to Adam who deserved it
Had to accept God’s judgment in Adam’s place
Had to willingly sacrifice himself
Had to bear the burden of our sin and be rejected by God
Had to obey the Law completely – be sinless
Had to be resurrected – given new life that we could access
That’s a pretty lofty set of criteria to fill. But wait, its gets worse!
The Redeemer would have to pay a heavy price for his role
The Bible also predicts the things that would happen to Him by living (and dying) in a world of evil men who would be antagonistic towards Him because His nature was so different from theirs. And by spiritual forces who would hate Him because He is the embodiment of what they rebelled against and His ultimate goal is to usurp their kingdom and punish them for their deeds.
Because of this, He would:
Live a lonely and grief stricken life
Despised and rejected by men
Be considered a bastard (due to the virgin birth, not because He was an a-hole)
Be Rejected by his (half) siblings
A disgrace to the community and a local joke
Hunted by the authorities for most of his public life
Be virtually homeless
Nearly drowned at sea
Have multiple attempts on His life
Be betrayed by a longtime companion
Abandoned by His closest friends
Be brutally beaten beyond recognition
Be whipped until most of the skin on His back was gone and his beard torn off
Have the people He came to save reject Him in favor of a known thief and murderer.
Be executed by one of the most excruciating methods known to man.
Good grief! Why would anyone endure all this to redeem a bunch of people who are naturally antagonistic to Him.
Because He loves us!
Because He wants us to spend eternity with Him! He literally considers the prospect of eternity with us as His bride a joy worth enduring a wretched life and a torturous death!
This takes a great Man and great love. A spousal Love beyond understanding. The Redeemer considers His sacrifice a joy – and I get annoyed if my wife asks me to go across the room to get her a glass of water (in my defense, she always asks during the really good part of a TV show).
So who would and could possibly do all his? Who is the redeemer? Well obviously, the Redeemer is God! Specifically the member of God’s tri-unity known as The Son. The Son manifested Himself on earth as the man called Jesus of Nazareth.
But as I wrote earlier, this blog doesn’t just tell, it proves. In the next post we will look at some more of the specific things the Bible says about the Redeemer BEFORE His advent that not only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Redeemer, but that the Redeemer COULDN’T have been anyone else! Next time.