When I think about theology, I often start by asking questions that begin with the phrase “what if” (as illustrated here). What if Adam had refused the fruit when Eve had offered it to him? What if Noah did not build the ark? What if the Old Testament prophets refused to share their revelations from God? Surely these inquiries are of significant consequence. Yet I’d venture to argue that all such theological questions point somewhere in common, to the greatest question a human mind has ever thought to ask. What is a holy God dressed in ironic flesh worth to us depraved sinners? What if God, in the splendor of His perfection and just nature, had refused to become man? The brief piece below seeks to find out.
If God Was Never Man
If God was never man
If the Father had no Son
How weary would Earth’s children be—
How woefully undone!
If Satan triumphed in Eden’s garden,
If we had gained what we deserve,
I daresay God’s justice would persever
And right justice never
Could cause Eve’s seed to bloom.
Yea, think also of Moses’ slabs
Of the unstained lambs, slaughtered without mercy,
The rituals of Levites, the restless feigners of peace—
Would these have any hopeful meaning?
No…we’d have reason only
To tear ourselves in shame,
Knowing what we’ve done—
Shuddering in the glory of His name,
And never basking in His Son.
For the fruit we traded our lives,
And for white we sulked in black;
For the rift from His perfection,
God would turn His back…
…And darkness surely melt our blistering souls.
Yet here we are, and here He is—
Born in the stable for His death,
And dead on the cross for our life.
Wholly unworthy of creation’s suffering,
He crushed the serpent’s head—
He showed us what He loved—
And He rewrote the stones of Jochebed’s son.
O complacency, run off!
O dejection, from our hearts do flee!
O new-birthed believers, let us think
And marvel at the depth of His grace!
For because of Christ, God’s principles are made known;
Because of Christ, the veil is broke instead of whole;
Because of Christ, we no longer sacrifice—
What we do from our hearts’ sincerity is enough.
For He is the God who keeps His word,
The One who gives and takes away,
For all this His goodness, O church, remember—
And dance in our love of His great Manhood!
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.”
~First Timothy 3:16, NKJV
January 5, 2018