What is salvation that is being offered by Christianity? From where and what are we going to be saved? Is it really possible that a god will incarnate on earth just to save us? Who needs salvation? Why does someone needs salvation?
Salvation is one of the essences of Christianity. The Son of God descended from heaven to reveal the kingdom and the will of His Father and be a sacrifice. Jesus died for our place. Man being a sinner, was heading for condemnation, a death (an eternity) in hell. The first batch, the first ever generation of man, our parents already committed sin. The devil didn’t wasted time for the next generation to ‘devour’ (1 Peter 5:8) them. And the result of this sin is death. Adam and Eve committed the first sin which is the desire to be like, or in the same level with, God. The devil was the first to commit this sin. He desired to be like God and he wants us to do the same. When God was so delighted on His creation on man, the devil was so furious and jealous because he knows we are the inheritors of heaven and he will be condemned soon. He wants to mess up the party. So he tricked Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. And suddenly, they were naked. They became aware of what’s good and evil.
So if God is all-knowing, and knows the future, why doesn’t He anticipate this? Isn’t it seems like everything is scripted? That everything is God’s ‘will’ including the fall of man? And why God prevented them from eating the fruit if this will make them aware of good and evil? Is God scare of something might be revealed?
God loves man so much. We are His only creation that He created by His own hands, not by verbal order that starts with, “Let there be…” What made us special is that we are His only creation that He gave effort on creation. He picked up a clay, He molded it, and breath on our nostrils to give us spirit; we were made in His own image. He was so delighted when He saw us.
In my opinion, the reason why He prevented us from knowing good and evil is that it will make us decide for ourselves and it will make us liable for our decision. God knows that with our immaturity, we tend to choose the wrong choice. Choices that can be destructive for us. God wants us to depend on Him totally, and I think that’s not a bad idea. Our parents used to have everything around them; unlimited supply of (healthy) food, eternal life, fresh air, good health, sex, everything. There is nothing that He didn’t provided us. In fact, whenever we hear the word Paradise, an image of green landscape appears to our mind, or the Garden of Eden, and not luxurious buildings and night clubs that we created.
However, we have a notion that we must be independent to decide on our own; that we must learn on our mistakes and its consequences on our own; that conflicts and problems are healthy and challenging. Well, here we are now.
As a loving parent, despite the love that He shown and things that He provided, it must be hurtful and disappointing for Him to be disobeyed and betrayed by His children. Death is not God’s judgment for our sin, it is a result of our sin. God may love us so much but we still have to pay for our sin, we must be liable for our decisions. This is the consequence of free will. God loves us so much that He gave us free will even though He knows its possible outcome. He wants us to love him on our free will. And this is also what makes us special: free will. We are His only creation that can make a choice, not even angels have this privilege. And this what makes us also gods (Psalm 82:9).
And because we sinned, we must die. And because God loves us so much, He find ways to fix our mess. And there is only one way; His Son Jesus. His own Son that came from His own bosom is more than enough to be a sacrifice for the lives of the entire humanity, from the past and to the future. It must have been depressing to experience the same thing twice; the death of His first son and the death of His only begotten Son.
In Israel, it is a tradition to make a sacrifice for the forgiveness of an Israelite’s sin. They must choose a blameless animal to sacrifice in place of them. The blood of the sacrificed animal will pour into the soil and will serve as a payment for their sin. God used this method to save and cleanse us from our sins. We must be sinless and blameless to be able to enter into heaven. Jesus, being perfect and sinless, is the perfect sacrifice. His blood washed away our sins. He covered up our sins to make us appear sinless to the Father and be qualified for heaven. As sinners, we are unworthy to be with the glorious God.
As gods, we are meant to live for eternal. You will notice it by how you feel inside yourself; it feels the same as you were in your high school. It is because there is something in us that doesn’t get old. And in the spirit world, there are only two places; heaven and hell. The result of our sin is eternal life in hell. But with God’s love, He still gave us the chance to be with Him in heaven. He still wants to spend the eternity with us. With our free will and the power to choose, He gave us the option where to spend the eternity. By recognizing Jesus and what He did to us, it makes us qualify to be inheritors of His kingdom and spend the eternity with Him. To those who rejected His Son, they will spend eternity in hell among the condemned devil and his angels. The choice is ours.
The idea of a punishing God is usually used by unbelievers against Christianity. They say that instead of a judging and hating God, as Christians usually do, a God, being perfect, is a loving and understanding God, and must not punish and hate. He loves unconditionally. He understands our weaknesses as humans. I agree on this. This is also the God that I worship. God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). The problem is on the people who rejected His salvation, strayed away from Him, and chose to be their own god. Being their own god is believing their own perception. They don’t believe in anything but their own thinking. Lucifer chose to be his own god. Adam and Eve chose to be their own god. They are their own god. Whenever we follow ourselves, we chooses to be our own gods.
We are gods because we live for eternity and we have our own free will. But there is only one supreme God who created us all and deserves our worship. We have the power to choose between Him and ourselves.
I also came to realize that what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 can be applied to this: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” You deny yourself as being your own god, recognize Him as yours, and follow Him. This is the miracle of salvation.
image by: Carden