A gracEmail subscriber in the Northwest asks why God made humans if he knew in advance that they would rebel against him.
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Scripture does not answer this question directly, although it suggests that God’s endowment of human beings with the ability to reject him demonstrates the extent of his desire for loving relationship — a reality which requires choice (by humans) and risk (by their Maker). What we do know is that humans, quite unaided, are completely able to reject the Creator who gives them existence. This is also our universal experience, since every one of us rebels against God as soon as we learn how. Only his grace in regeneration and sanctification keeps that from being our lifelong practice.
This universal, pervasive sin is why Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest circle, repeatedly denied by another, and forsaken by the rest. It is the reason why the only innocent man who ever lived stood passively and received the Roman lashes on his back, a crown of thorns on his head and iron spikes into his hands. It is the only explanation why the Son of Man and Son of God was finally rejected by both God and humankind to hang suspended on a criminal’s cross — surrounded by brigands, assaulted by mocking and curses, without a trace of sunshine in the sky — until he died.
The indescribable torture and agonies which Jesus suffered in his body and soul also tell us in some understandable human fashion how God is able to forgive us, receive us and treat us as if we had done no wrong — and demonstrate the extent of his love which did just that. The Creator did this, not for anything he saw or foresaw in us, but freely, gratuitously and out of his own heart — “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph. 1:6; Titus 3:3-7; Rom. 11:33-36). Well, indeed, should we “give thanks to the LORD for his lovingkindness, and for his wonders to the children of men” (Psalm 107:15).