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Immanuel

Christmas is here, which inevitably turns my thoughts more and more to Immanuel. God with us. It is one of my favorite characteristics of God. That He came, He is here, and He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. Immanuel.

Today I was on one such train of thought and I was marveling at the magnitude of the moment of the Nativity. The moment of Immanuel. The whole entire bible was leading up to this point. The whole entire history of Israel led to this point. The trajectory arch of people’s lives pointed to this moment. Many of the Psalms point to the moment. The prophets foretold this moment. Some people’s names pointed to Jesus, and them just living with their name spoken daily proclaimed the coming Savior.

Jesus is referenced in Genesis after the fall when the curse is laid upon the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15 NKJV) So I know that Jesus signed up for the Nativity and the cross as soon as sin entered the world. But then a question arose in my mind: what about the omniscience of God? Did He know sin was guaranteed even before it happened?

In the past I looked at creation and the fall as everything was perfect until people made a mistake and ruined it for God and everyone. Like no one saw it coming, including God. As if Adam and Eve took bad council, ate the fruit and God was like, “Geeze! I thought you could handle one rule. Now I gotta figure something else out. Jesus, Holy Spirit, I have an idea, it’s not pretty. Jesus, you’ve got the short end of the stick.”

Now I’m starting to think it wasn’t like that at all. God is all knowing. He was all knowing, even before He created the heavens and the earth. Which would imply that God knew the inevitability of the fall. Before He spoke a word of creation He must’ve known that Mankind would take that fateful bite. Which means part of going forward with creation meant factoring in the necessity of the cross. Committing to it from the point of “Let there be light.”

If that is the case, God knew what creation was going to cost Him from the very first breath and He did it anyway.

The beauty of the earth and the diversity of every continent was worth it. The brilliance of the stars and physics in outer space was worth it. Adam and Eve and every person to follow was worth it. Music, ingenuity, color, food, the full spectrum of experience was all worth it. In fact, the full spectrum of experience might not have been possible without the fall and brokenness.

I’m not saying God intended brokenness to be part of His creation. I’m saying He probably could see it and came up with contingency plans to redeem the brokenness. So nothing would be lost and full potential could be reached despite the introduction of brokenness.

God desired us, flaws and all. Even before the flaws were there. Jesus wanted us, cost and all. Even before the cost was needed. The Holy Spirit wanted to fellowship with us. Even though it meant being present, then separating, and waiting millennia to come back.

I can see it now: The Trinity vision casting for creation and realizing what would happen. “Dear, dear, dear. That is a nasty streak in the plans. There doesn’t seem to be a way around it.” But then They look at each other and smile, “Let’s do it anyway. It’ll be grand.”

Paul talks about Jesus enduring the cross for the joy set before Him. I wonder If Jesus had that joy in His sight from the first sound of His voice over the emptiness that would soon be what we call home and us. The joy of Immanuel.

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