20 “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (I Peter 1:20-21).
We must never presume that the death of Christ on the cross for sinners was an afterthought by God following the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). The atonement was not a Plan B.
Rather, God tells us through Peter that Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary and sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection was foreordained or predetermined by God before the world was even created. Christ was chosen as the Redeemer of the elect in eternity past (John 17:24). This is an additional motivation for believers to live their lives for the Lord’s glory.
As one commentator writes, “Redemption was no afterthought, or remedy of an unforeseen evil, devised at the time of its arising. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:28-33; 9:6-26; 11:5-28; 16:13; Colossians 3:12; I Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:1).
In these last times, which is always referring to the days between the first and second coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2), the person and work of Christ is revealed to all. We are to make Him and His work known (Matthew 28:19-20). Why? Because there is eternal life in none other (John 14:1-6; Acts 4:12).
Charles Wesley described the eternal plan of God through Jesus Christ in these words.
He left His Father’s throne above—
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me! Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Soli deo Gloria!