A while back, I watched the movie Luther. It was very inspiring. Here was a man who risked everything to share the truth of Christ. Because of him, the doctrine of salvation through grace through faith in Jesus Christ lives on in the world today.
One character stood out to me more than any other and that was Ulrich. He desired to spread the truth of the gospel with people in his home country so much, that he was willing to leave the safety of Germany, where the princes would protect him, to a hostile place. Fervor like that makes me examine my own heart and see that I have not spread the gospel. Even though I know the gospel, I must still study it. Yesterday, I read a blog entry on God’s love and love in general by Ben Witherington. Through that, I realized that I have forgotten about this divine love. I have had trouble accepting it and showing it.
“But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)
“Great love has no one but this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus, God did just that. Will I ever understand this? It is hard enough accepting that a physical man, Jesus, died for all sinners so that we might be saved, but he was more than just a man. He was God incarnate, an entity which to my finite mind is only comprehensible in finite terms, metaphors, and stories.
As much as this confuses me, what confuses me more is how this whole process of redemption works. Do I doubt it? Not one bit. My life is a testament to this redemption. Without it my life would not be what it is today. Even though I ponder on how it works, I don’t question other things such as the resurrection. That makes complete sense to me. To me, without the resurrection redemption makes no sense. Yes, I know that Jesus had to die so that we would be saved. Did His death save us or did the resurrection? Or could it have been both? I have always heard that He was the atoning sacrifice. But I believe that through His resurrection that death was defeated. Without death sin no longer has dominion. This leads to purification and the sanctifying of all people who accept Christ. So now, does His death now cover the sins past? This could very well be so. Does it also cover sins present and future? Now since Jesus was God incarnate, and God is omni-present, does this include time as well.
So if God is omni-present in time as well as space, then He is therefore eternal and never being in only one time. This then also allows for Jesus to be eternal, which scripture supports. Now if Jesus is eternal do His works, namely His atoning sacrifice and redemptive resurrection, cover not only our past, present, and future since, but also the sins of those who came before Him? Where if they faith in God, since the revelation of Jesus as the messiah had not come to full fruition, they would be redeemed much like we are today.
This then leads me to one more question, one which I am afraid to answer. Since Jesus is eternal and if is sacrifice and atonement are eternal, can those whose physical life has ended come to a saving faith after this life since the atonement is eternal and not bound by time?
I am almost fearful to share this thought with most people This may be closer to heresy than most anything else I have ever considered. If so I am positive of one thing, and that is that God, through the actions of Jesus Christ, has expressed His love for me and others. Nothing will be able to separate me from that love. Some things have kept me from accepting this love but it was not because God has not continually offered it. God is always showing His redeeming love so that we can experience Him more in everything. Nd in everything we will be able to express this same love to Him and others around us.