This week I want to spend some time talking about the doctrine of the finished work of Christ. A clear understanding of this truth shapes our understanding of every other truth in the scriptures.
It is a key to understanding Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and touches every other doctrine the scriptures teach because it frames how God views mankind. It's scope spans the length and breadth of creation. If we understand the finished work we can better see the angelic contest for what is and therefore fight a good fight in spiritual warfare. Our view of history changes and we see God's dealings with mankind and Israel in a new light.
I believe this is a key doctrine. One that if understood will change a life forever.
The beginning is a good place to start. Many see the cross as the beginning of this understanding but actually I want to start much farther back... before creation itself.
"But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" 1 Peter 1:19-20 KJV
Jesus was the lamb before any lambs were spoken into existence. God had a blueprint in His mind for the design of creation and not the slightest detail escaped Him. He did not only make space... He made time and history also. By creating people as free will agents he designed a system where both 'yes' and 'no' were possible. That in itself boggles the mind. He knew that system needed a victim. Christ would be that victim. Jesus would be the bloodied perfect lamb that made free will possible.
"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. If any man have an ear, let him hear." Revelation 13:8-9 KJV
Here it speaks of a book. The book of Revelation came through John but was inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16) but it speaks of a much older book where names are written. That book is older than the world itself and even it's title speaks of the finished work.
In God's mind Jesus died before the World was made. It was not an afterthought or some sort of last resort emergency plan. God was planning all along to forgive mankind.