Thoughts on Redemption

In the view I grew up with, our goal or God’s goal for us was to bring us back to the garden of Eden. This meant, symbolized, etc., coming back into the perfect, mature fellowship Man had with God before the Fall.

The original or Eastern understanding appears to have been similar yet different. Transgression by Adam and Eve was a real thing, before which they had dwelt innocently, in direct communication with God. The difference may have to do with a question: were the first people, or was Man in Paradise, perfect (as in complete, wise, fulfilled, and so on)? Or were they immature, nascent, just beginning their journey toward relating to God as they were designed to in the future?

I’ve read somewhere in Orthodox literature that God determined to send His Son before the foundation of what we know as reality was laid. And the Son was always intended to bring Man into union with God. It didn’t matter what Man might choose to do; God’s determination stood, stands, outside of time and reality as we know it. If Man hadn’t transgressed, therefore, the Son would still have come, in the fulness of time. Christ wasn’t sent as an afterthought, defense against Satan, or Plan B.

Man was completely free to choose. God, I would imagine, knew Man would choose transgression at some point. This was revealed in a test, a commandment: Do not eat the fruit of this one tree.

Man ate the fruit. Okay, there’s your transgression. Now what would he do? In innocence, immaturity, and rebellion, Man made excuses. Blamed others. Stood before God, unrepentant. God cursed Man as punishment.

In the understandings I grew up with, God got angry with Man, because Man did a bad thing. All these centuries, God has been waiting for Man to return to the Garden, to Paradise, to what was going on before — no clothes, animals all newish, and so on.

Here’s another question: what if the Curse has been something instructive, and when its effects are ended, the good, righteous (dikaios) process for Man continues on? What if the Son’s coming into reality as we know it, as was always foreordained, included instruction about the Curse Man had chosen, and began (or completed) the dissolution of that Curse, while including, as was predetermined, Messiah’s active union with Man, so that Man can continue his journey, his growth, once again rather than still doing so as Man might have remained if he had immediately repented?

What if Redemption means going forward rather than going back? This would eliminate nostalgia; Man’s longing for Paradise would be, rather than a wish for the good old days, a sober, joyful continuation toward maturity in the household of his Father.

Comments

deb colarossi said…
love.
yes.
What if?
( so well written btw . )
deanna rebekah said…
Deb, hi. Thanks for being around. Your notes in the chorus of this world and reality are such pretty ones.