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Page 9 of 16

HOPE CONCEALED IN DEATH


Before the world came into existence through Adam, God had taken righteousness into account. Even before their birth, all humans were committed to the slavery of death. Their death sentence carried a value God had at his disposal to complete his plan with man. The death penalty was executed under the “Law of decay”, which was to take power over the body and give it over to death and destruction. Even our suffering from illness and old age within this punishment has its value. Therefore, by God’s allowing of human suffering, the world did not lose its value because it will gain much more than it currently loses.

“For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

The world died in Adam by God’s righteous decree because God Himself subjected them to that death for their eternal good. In what sense? Paul understood this and said:

“for creation was made subject to futility (death and corruption), not of its own accord but because of the one (God) who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20,21)

‘Subject to futility’ ⇒ subject to hope’ ⇒ ‘liberation from slavery’

As we can see, God subjected Adam’s offspring to futility, that is, death and decay, against their will and without their guilt, not for this world to disappear forever, but for the hope of deliverance that ensues from such death. It’s like someone telling you:

“I gave you over to death in order to keep you alive”

This statement is implied by what we can discern from the context: The hope of life is based on the death to which they are subjected. Obviously, their suffering and death carries a redeeming value that gives hope that the very suffering and death would be the basis of deliverance from death itself. Of course, the world could not redeem itself by its own death. However, their death, represented by the death of the righteous individuals, subjected to death by God, could redeem One among them, chosen by God. There was one condition, though. They should consciously die for themselves as a ‘sacrifice to God’ ‘who was to use their ‘sacrifice’ for this purpose. For this to be legally regulated, there had to be a covenant with people who had to be aware of their role and the purpose of their existence. Obviously, this could not be achieved with all the people of the world (nations, tribes and languages). Nevertheless, it was not a problem to God because he planned to place the burden of that responsibility on only one chosen nation that had to represent the whole world.

Righteousness and sinfulness can only be expressed in the context of a covenant and a law. Hence, God decreed that his Chosen Ones existed within the framework of a chosen nation. Under the covenant, he nation would be sanctified by the covering of their sins by means of blood sacrifices. Thus that nation comprised the value of the whole world. They were predetermined and taken from the world from which they were redeemed and inscribed into the Book of life. We will see how God did that and why.