God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus but not for reasons you may think. Jesus’ death was a depiction of how far God will go to have a relationship with us, not how far God will go to make sure sins get paid for. God did not intend from the beginning for Adam and Eve to be in awe and scared to be in His presence. When God visited in the garden to converse with Adam and Eve, they hid among the trees. [Gen 3:8] Did their sin made them feel unworthy to be in God’s presence? Did they underestimate God’s grace and willingness to forgive?
Our relationship with God did not get better with time. The Israelites continue to feel they needed to keep their distance from God. They continue to live in fear of God. Fearing God in the Bible is only necessary when evil is on the loose to hopefully deter evildoers. God desperately wanted an open relationship as He started too with Adam and Eve but sin does strange things to us humans. God knew He would need to come in the flesh and not necessarily in a spectacular fashion or relational barriers would remain.
Jesus eased into the lives of His disciples beginning as a baby rather than as a powerful man such as Moses; otherwise, Jesus would have been greeted with just more awe and standoffishness. No one initially suspected a baby was God incarnate. The disciples may not have eventually accepted Jesus as a friend had they fully understood He was God from the beginning. God has always desired a friendship. Jesus didn’t want us to coward from Him. Jesus wanted to show God could be the most faithful friend a disciple and others could imagine. [Jn 15]
We may assume Jesus became a man to save us from our sins for legalistic rather than relational reasons. The actions on the Cross have been interpreted to imply Jesus died to appease God’s sense of justice rather than to convince us of His love for us. If Jesus’ death was absolutely necessary so God could forgive us our sins, how come Jesus was able to forgive sins before His death? Do we really think God was so mad at sinners that He had to kill someone? God did not need to be appeased by human sacrifice like the other OT gods. The Cross was not to satisfy some need of God’s but to satisfy some need in us.
God wants us to feel comfortable in His presence despite our sins. Isn’t this the desire of any parent? The Cross enables us to know God sees us as Christ as our sins are nailed to the Cross. The Cross allows us to have a free conscience so we can have a relationship with our Creator. The Cross empowers us to be comfortable with God despite our guilty feelings. God knew we would have a hard time accepting His incredible offer of friendship, so He went to great lengths via the Cross to prove His love and Himself. Jesus’ death was God’s attempt to win our hearts over to follow in Jesus’ footsteps than in the footsteps of sin that can destroy.
The truth is there is no price for sin where the sin doesn’t matter or have consequences. Sin offerings in the OT were not for God but to illustrate a price is always paid when forgiveness becomes necessary in relationships. John 3:17 says: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” If someone wronged me and the only way I could satisfy my anger and forgive was to kill my child, what does that say about me as a parent? Sin is blinding. Jesus’ death was to persuade us to run from sin and toward God. How better to possibly persuade one than to be willing to die for uncommitted sins. God wants to empower us to overcome the power of sin in our lives.