Cosmic Fly on Heaven's Wall

JM Gheen
Joel Gheen is a private equity investor and author of Crux Matters, a book on Christian theology.

Dec 06,2016

You were there even before the Genesis.  You saw, and most of it was too big to comprehend.  Events, beings, rising, falling.  Millennia upon millennia.  But always He was there.  He always had been, and He was always acting with intent.  Then, as if so much had been leading up to this point, there was a moment of pause.  In that moment, it was known that something important was about to happen.  He was going to establish a great truth.  But what had you not already seen?  What was left to be demonstrated? As always, you would wait.  And watch.  And try to understand.

He spoke.

He spoke something lesser than what He was, but it was purely of His nature.  “Light”… had you ever seen it like this before?  Breathed in brilliance, streaming and tumbling towards eternity.  He spoke again and the light swirled and amassed into something wholly new, something beautiful in its temporality.  This was matter and it only mattered because He said it should.  It rolled in crashing waves.

He spoke and He breathed.  He spoke again, and He breathed again.

You gasped.  This was awe.  Everything you saw was beautiful, perfect, and it sang of His nature.  This was Creation and He was Creator.  It was staggering in its expanse and power, yet utterly fragile in the palm of His hand.

The dancing blue planet was pure and intricate.  He had suspended it in perfect symmetry with boundaries of time, space, light, and matter.  This planet was a living lesson in harmony.  Though you were not sure how, you knew it was both temporary and eternal.  It was tiny yet expansive, fragile yet resilient.  It pulsed, breathed, and teemed with marvelous diversity in life and creation.  Yes, this new world was something worthy of the Creator you knew.  You eagerly anticipated watching the life grow, develop, interact, and exalt in all that it was.

He stretched out His hand.  There was more?  He spat into the dust of the ground, and with His own fingers He mixed clay.  With great care, He fashioned one more creature.  Graceful, elegant, naive, propitious.  What would this be?  You heard Him bless the creature “in our image” and the blessing clanged in your ears because a mud creation, well-formed as it was, could not possibly be in the very image of the Creator.

But then, oh, but then… He breathed a new breath.  He breathed forth His own life.  He drew from His heart and placed in the mud creature Life, Eternity, Spirit, and Will.  Free, independent Will.  These humans, named after the dirt from which they had been drawn, had been glorified with will and mind in the nature of their Creator.

You were astonished.  What did the Creator mean in making such a thing?  But then, you saw what He meant.  He walked with the humans.  He talked with them.  He enjoyed relationship with them.  You understood, then, that all along His purpose had been to show His capacity for love, for relationship.  You surmised He must have intended a hint of grace as He raised up such lowly creatures to a status they could not possibly appreciate.  Indeed, they walked arm in arm with the Creator of more than they could conceivably imagine.  It was easy to see why He loved them.

You thought you would never tire of watching this relationship.  It was perfect, beautiful, and very good.  The green garden on the blue world was a splendid setting.  Humankind was in vibrant serenity. They lived in love.

The Enemy, Lucifer, extended his hand.  Did the Creator not see?  The Enemy, not yet crushed, coveted the life of the humans for his own.  And why not?  The Enemy entered and spoke.  He spoke the oldest lie, the lie that fed on free will.  And because such depth of free will had been granted for so much relationship, the lie took root.  In an instant, it choked out the love and the trust.  The humans ate of the fruit and claimed their rightful exit from relationship with their Creator.

You wanted to avert your gaze.  The Creator’s grief squeezed everything you knew.  You saw His eyes… His eyes fixed on that world and the humans He loved.  You silently wished Him to turn His face.  You looked back to the humans and your stomach lurched.  How could they have fallen so far in only a breath?  You watched their increase in number, not because of the original admonition to be fruitful, but because they had seized everything in their care.  They clutched, they demanded.

And they destroyed.  In abject horror, you witnessed all that they did.  Death, decay, sickness and murder.  They killed… one another… with determination.  Could this possibly be the creation that had, only moments ago, demonstrated the Creator’s nature of harmony and peace?  Where had He failed?  How could He have made this thing?

You looked again.  There was no beauty that was not ravaged and no life not demanded.  You saw no human life that was not turned into some form of human sacrifice to the pit of self will.  Humankind had become the enemy.  They simultaneously gasped in desperation for their original love relationship with their Creator, yet scorned His every effort to offer them a flicker of truth and life.  There was no way out.

In all the ugliness, all the horrific affliction of free will in total bondage to self, Lucifer wallowed.  The Enemy glorified in the putrid death of it all.  The humans cowered, yet extended their hands to the Enemy as he whispered all that they thought they craved.  So much of the beauty of the original creation still remained, but that very beauty felt like a macabre juxtaposition, jesting of what could have been if only there had been no lies.  For beauty and justice never really triumphed in the day to day merry-go-round of life and death on Earth.  Some of the humans tried. A few of them tried hard.  But they all faced the same end.

And the Creator grieved.  You wondered how He could still look upon it all.

You felt something you had never felt.  You were embarrassed by a spark of pity for the God of the Universe, the Supreme Originator.  Ashamed of your own doubt, you averted your eyes.  You wanted the whole Earth experiment to go away.  You wanted to never speak of it again.  You sensed the rumblings of unease throughout the heavens.  There were whispers… what would the Creator do about this world?  When would He pour out His wrath?  When would He unleash exaction and crush the Enemy for all eternity?  Was this battle lost?  Was this war…?… surely not…. but how?  How could this human plight be finally forgotten?

You overheard a rumor.  Some who had been watching all along muttered of a rescue plan that had been in the mind of the Creator since the beginning.  But you knew no rescue short of total damnation, total banishment, total hell could transverse this chasm of transgression.  Who could possibly qualify to intercede where God Himself had been scorned?

A sound… a sounding, an echo, a resounding.  A horn blew.  A trumpet!  Something was happening.  But what?  You hoped against hope.  You heard a messenger say, “Immanuel! God with us”.

Did your ears betray you?  Surely the Creator would not be soiled by approaching that planet.  Perhaps, perhaps with the appropriate show of overwhelming force and majesty?  Could humanity finally be humiliated?

The totality dawned upon you.  He would become human.  The Creator would be… human.  Not only would He become human, He would become sin, for humankind, so that through Him they might become His very righteousness.  He would do this not through overwhelming force, but through overwhelming humility.  He would set down His own God-ness.  He would serve them.  He would subject Himself to them.  He would not conquer them, but He would conquer their master, their Death.  He would defeat their death not by way of indignation but by obedience.  He would be the lowest among the lowly.  He would not reveal His true majesty, but rather He would publicly establish His true love.

And so a virgin would have a child, and that child would be Immanuel, God with humankind.  A messenger had been sent to announce this plan from his own King.  It was a boggling prospect.  The girl was fortunate to be unable to grasp the cosmic gravity of it all.  And so God entered into humanity as lowly, needy, child.  He, the child, was born, Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God.  He was born helpless, and, awkwardly, in a barn.  For the most part, nobody on Earth knew God had arrived.  Very few humans knew, but your heart vibrated as all the heavens knew.  Indeed, the angels spilled forth in fervor to trumpet the measureless import to whomever was nearby… shepherds, as it turned out.  Fitting for the lowly little King of the Universe.

The rulers in humankind heard the plot and turned to drastic measures.  You knew, then, that they, humankind, would reject Him.  They already had, way back in Eden, the original creation.  If the compromised beauty that remained in humanity could not survive its own species, how much less so the perfect origin of all beauty?  You had known as soon as you heard the plan that they would murder Him the moment they sensed who He really was.

They did murder Him.  Human of all humans, God of all gods.  They crucified Him in villainy.  In that moment, in His own death, He realized His own subjection to sin, sin not His own but wholly assumed.

And the Creator averted His gaze for the first time.

Upon the last breath of God, the Enemy understood his own destruction.  Death had been beaten not by force but by fulfillment hitherto never conceived.  Heaven opened to Earth and Hell gaped.  Jesus Christ, the Creator God as human, had fulfilled all that was required.  By all astonished rights, humankind was offered not only salvation…

…but sonship and daughtership.  Speechless grace.  Humankind was offered a kindred place with heavenly righteousness.  They were to become heirs to the Kingdom of all Kingdoms, and to judge righteousness among Heavenly beings.  This offer is so confounding that it must be grace.

So you watch.  You wonder what they will do.  The angels wait with baited breath, poised to break forth in divine rejoicing when a single human chooses life by Jesus Christ.  Free will is still free.

You watch, you marvel, and you wonder who among humanity will next choose to enter back into blessed restoration, peaceful relationship with their Creator.

Not much longer now, you watch…

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