Before he died Jesus said that if he didn’t go away then “the advocate will not come..but if I go I will send him…” (John 16:7). Did that mean there was some sort of process that had stages to it? Like first, send a teacher (Let them understand Me better). Second, create a Savior (…for them to believe in and gain life). Third, resurrect him and bring him home again (Let’s show it can and will be done). Fourth, send the Spirit (…to prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment – John 16:8).
Sounds like a plan to me.
Then does that mean that by being here with us Jesus had to finish the steps in order for God to set up the process? Can you even imagine trying to set that up? Let’s see, I’ll send someone who is strong enough to be as perfect as man can be, as sinless, as loving, as kind, and as ready to love all my other children as I am myself…to represent me on earth. Jesus did say if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father so that makes sense. Then God had to think that when the relationship is formed, with disciples and believers and others taught to share what had been taught, then this man will also have to be willing to pay the price for sin (as I would’ve done myself for them) and be resurrected after death.
Doesn’t that make you humble that someone was up to that task? Doesn’t it awe you a little that someone could so accurately represent God himself? Doesn’t it amaze you that Jesus did such a good job at this that we can still feel that love today even when he is not physically with us? We feel that love that God has for us (and was able to send through a representative) during the most interesting moments; a prayer, or an insight, or by serving each other. Isn’t it incredible that Jesus was able to pull that off so well?
I used to resent that Christians would say that Jesus was the only way to God. I don’t want to think that I can’t just go to God directly. I resented the thought that there’s some door between us I have to go through first. But what if Jesus isn’t the door between us and our relationship with God at all but the key to open it? What if Jesus isn’t standing in the way at all but opening up all the doors, one after the other, until we have a straight shot to God?
Now that’s amazing.