From the Foundation of the World (Part 1)
Revelation 13:8 – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
. . . The lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.
How can I have gone to church for half a century, . . . worked enough Vacation Bible School to have earned a Master’s degree in cheap crafting and theme-related refreshment ideas, . . . color-coded my Bible with the coolest of markers until it looks like psychedelic doodle art and smells like it was dropped in a bowl of fruit salad, . . . and never have seen the last phrase of this verse?!
. . . From the foundation of the world?
I think maybe this changes a lot of my thoughts about God stuff. It could possibly give me enough new ideas to ponder while I daydream drive that I cross a state line before I wake up and realize I’m not at the grocery and I don’t have the diet coke or the chocolate that I left home to get. It definitely gives me new material for the “what if” stories that live in my head.
In the beginning, after God spoke all the “LET THERE BE . . . s” and creation formed at his commands, he paused to say, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
What if . . .
After they spoke into being the magnificent and amenable, God paused in creation and said to Jesus and to the Spirit that hovered there with them,
“Let’s talk about this before we go any further.”
With excitement in in His voice, perhaps God said, “I’d like to make man. I’d like to breathe a bit of ourselves into him so that he will be different than the animals and we can love him.”
At this point, (in the story in my head), Jesus and the Spirit nod. It would be a little more complicated and they might get a little dirt on their hands but what an intriguing idea!
Then God became pensive and He said, “But look down the road of time. If we create them this way, look at the mess they will make. Watch their path as they follow their choices and see where we will go to retrieve them.”
As the Spirit followed the path of man, He nodded his assent. Yes, He would lead them through a desert. Yes, He would visit them in their promised land. He could be there to give courage as they battled. He would happily comfort their kings and prophets in the days of their sorrow and cause them to dance in the days of their joy.
Then He looked forward a little more and He saw the place in time where God would determine that man had wandered long enough without Him. And if the Spirit has something like a heart, it stopped beating for a moment when He realized what making man would cost. With effort, He pulled his eyes away from the cross and He looked at Jesus.
Jesus was still. The breath seemed to have left his body. He had seen too. But his eyes weren’t on the cross. They were on God, the Father. He stood there for what would have, if there had been time, seemed like eternity, . . . looking . . . and seeing . . . and understanding.
And, from the foundation of the world, He was slain.