God's Amazing Plan
by Gil Rugh
God’s intention from the very beginning was to prepare man for the coming of His Son. God began this preparation process with Adam and Eve, the first people on earth. As a result of disobeying God’s command, they were overwhelmed with guilt. While seeking to hide themselves from God, they attempted to make themselves coverings from leaves. God came and confronted them regarding their sin and provided coverings for them made from animal skins. The slaying of those animals and the provision of covering were a declaration to Adam and Eve that the penalty for sin was death and that God had to make provision for them. This act foreshadowed Christ coming to make provision for us.
A little later, Cain and Abel came to present their sacrifices to God. Cain brought an offering from the produce he raised. Abel also brought the best of his herd as a sacrifice. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but He did not accept Cain’s. The reason, very simply, was that Cain’s sacrifice was not given in faith. This showed that God is concerned with the condition of man’s heart.
Later on, Abraham was commanded to take his own son, Isaac, and sacrifice him to God. Just as Abraham was ready to carry out that act, God intervened and provided a ram as a substitute in fulfillment of what Abraham had told his son: “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen. 22:8). This was a reminder to Abraham and to us that in God’s time He would provide the sacrifice necessary to pay the penalty for sin.
The entire sacrificial system in Israel was designed to constantly remind people of their sinfulness and their need for forgiveness, and that the penalty for sin was death. Yet the Bible says, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). The sacrifices could only remind the people of their sinfulness and of the penalty for their sins; they could not take away those sins. God never intended that animal sacrifices should pay the penalty for sin. The sacrifice for sin needed to be one who completely identified with humanity, a human being in every way, yet without sin. That is why God provided His own Son, Jesus.
The Bible tells us that at the proper time, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4,5). It was God’s sovereign plan for all of human history to lead up to this crucial event.
Jesus Christ was born as a human being, in every way humanity as well as deity. He came to earth for one purpose—to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind through His own death on the cross so that God might offer forgiveness and deliverance to all who would believe in Him. Jesus died for our sins and then rose from the dead. That is God’s testimony that salvation is complete and that redemption is secure.