From the very beginning, Jesus seems to have known what was going to happen to him… And further, he seems to have known that there was no plan “B” there was no way that the seperation between God and man could be breached, except through his death.
The fact of the crucifixion is the greatest mystery of all. Why it would be necessary and how it works, these are mysteries we’ll illuminate at the end of the book. For now, I’d like to explore just a little sliver of this.
I think that it’s illuminating to recognize that Jesus was the first grape to be turned to wine. He was born into the world; metaphorically speaking, a grape growing on the vine. He grew up in the world, just as a grape grows to maturity.
Everything that happens to a grape will have some tiny repucursion on the wine it will someday become. If we could create the perfect environment for a grape: perfect temperature, perfect moisture levels, perfect soil… we would have the potential for these grapes to some day wield the perfect glass of wine.
Similarly, Jesus’ life needed to be perfect as well, so that the death and reseruction he was headed for could also be perfect. If he had sinned, his sacrifice could not have applied to humanity, it would have only applied to redeeming his own mistakes. Because he made no mistakes, he could apply his “credit” to me, and to you.
But Jesus was not born to be some grape that would be plucked, placed under wrap, and sold whole at the grocery store. He was born a wine grape, metaphorically speaking.
A wine grape must be smashed utterly so that what lies within is brought to the outside. And so it what was with Jesus. But the thing is, that even if the most perfect glass ever would just sit, and may as well be a glass of dish water, if nobody ever picks it up and drinks from it. This too, is how it is with Jesus: I believe we must take the action of picking the glass up and drinking it in order to reap the benefits of what he offers us.
And one of the things he offers is a life like his. One of the things he calls us to is being little versions of him. We must take him inside of us, in some way. We must become one flesh with him in order to make this work.
For better or for worse, we do not instantly turn into Jesus by accepting him within us anymore than we instanty turn into a glass of wine by drinking it. Taking something inside of us does effect us. Too much alchohol gets us drunk. To much sugar gets us diabetes. Vitamin C increases boosts our immune system.
And so it is with Jesus. Taking him into us impacts us.