The Gospel of Christ Jesus is not an afterthought. God sees the end from the beginning, and he was not surprised when Adam and Eve sinned. He wasn’t suddenly faced with the need for a plan and it didn’t take him generations to come up with one. Christ’s shed blood on the cross and resurrection from the dead was God’s plan of salvation all along.
Take a flower for example. God did not make a seed and then, wondering what to do next, decide it should have a stem. And after seeing the stem think it should have a bud. And then not being sufficiently pleased with the bud suddenly come up with the idea of a flower. God knew upon creation of the tiny, somewhat uninteresting seed that one day a beautiful flower would emerge. And this same pattern is repeated throughout his creation.
In the same way, God created man and woman in his image to be in relationship with him. Like the flower that comes from a seed, a relationship with us was his ultimate plan. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God did not think – “Oh shoot. They screwed up. Now what?” He did not then begin to institute a series of laws and sacrifices to see if any of them could satisfy his holiness, only to discover they couldn’t. He did not, after waiting for generations for people to get it right, suddenly decide he needed to enter humanity himself to try to fix things. He did not then, once he got here, determine that it would take the death and resurrection of his one and only Son, Jesus, to finally give mankind a chance at righteousness. God doesn’t “fly by the seat of his pants”. Every detail of his salvation plan was in place from the beginning of time. He revealed it piece by piece throughout time so that when it was finally revealed in Christ we would be able to grasp the fullness of it.
Back to the flower analogy. The seed planted in the ground is like our life without God. It’s there, but it’s not amounting to much. Eventually like the stem grows from the seed, God’s law reveals to us our sin and places in us the desire to “do better”. As we seek God, a bud will begin to appear, but nothing we can do on our own will make us holy enough. If we stop there, attempting to be “good enough” on our own, we will never bloom. We cannot redeem our relationship with God on our own. But as soon as we acknowledge that we need a Savior, and that the only sufficient ransom for our sin is the blood of Jesus Christ, the flower of an eternal relationship with God will finally bloom. The flower that God planned all along.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17 NIV
…This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. – Colossians 1:23 NIV
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”- Galatians 3:7-8 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit… – Ephesians 1:13 NIV
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. – 2 Timothy 1:9-10 NIV