Why would God send His Son on a death mission? Why would Jesus willingly participate and not think twice about all that it would mean for Him? Because you and I were under a curse. As macabre as Walt Disney plots are for children, as high as the suspense is after the main character drinks poison, is cursed and then sent to a dark land, our plight was much worse. We had no possible way out of our imprisonment after the pronouncement of the Fall. There were no loopholes, no one making promises that if we did this or that, we could be freed from the land of banishment. Paradise was truly lost. The once lush, evergreen landscape of our beginnings became as gloomy and ravaged as an abandoned house that was falling in around itself. If not for Jesus, we’d live and die there.
So I consider Him. He looked at us and saw that our sin held us in captivity. He had seen His Father’s private tears when the curse was explained to Adam and Eve. He sensed the agony of all that God felt about the implications of the curse, things that Adam and Eve could never know. He knew that eating one piece of fruit from a forbidden tree would birth an endless sea of every imaginable evil to curse generations to come. He saw that there was a great chasm between His Father and those under His wrath. There was only one way to save God’s precious creations. The wrath that was upon them must be lifted off and borne by someone else in their place. If that person was to sacrifice himself for the sins of everyone, he must be perfect. That disqualified every single candidate except one. Jesus.
There was no hesitation. Within the omniscience of the Trinity, this had been foreseen. Jesus had weighed this decision way before the earth ever felt the breath of the Spirit upon its cheek. He knew He would be the Lamb as His Father whispered it across the empty spaces of time.
Every time I am overwhelmed by my past, I consider my High Priest who signed up to remove God’s wrath and offer new mercy; the wonder of a clean slate every single morning. Every time I am pierced by the sins of others, I consider Jesus, the One was pierced for my own sins. There is nothing too dark, too tragic, too hopeless, too confining, too defeating, that is able to define my life or my future. Paradise has been restored. The curse has been lifted. My inner landscape, once eaten up by the twisted vines of a darkened forest, is now a stunning landscape.
Why talk about this on New Year’s Eve? Because 2020 has felt so much like a curse to so many. I’ve heard God’s children use the word to describe their year. Yes, a barrage of painful things happen here but while the earth is presently cursed, I am not. I’m an alien here. I’m blessed even though things around me may deteriorate. The Spirit of Jesus has made me His home, His tabernacle, and as He lives, breathes, and hovers in the realms of my own spirit, all things flourish. The song of Paradise is the song I’m singing.