A soul invigorating piece from Theologian C. Baxter Kruger:
‘Many years ago I met a man in Scotland named Francis Lyall who had done extensive research on the ancient idea of adoption. He pointed out that in the Roman world a natural son or daughter could be cut out of the family estate, but an adopted child could not. Once adoption had taken place, the child could never be rejected; it was a permanent position. So it is with us in Jesus: we are included forever.’
Kruger continues ‘But in The Shack, Paul Young’s focus is not only the fact that our position is eternally stable; rather he is enamoured with the nature and purpose of the gift given to us in adoption – that is, not merely legal standing, but inclusion in the life of the family. Inconceivable as it may be, in adoption, we are made heirs, joint-heirs with Jesus, and what we inherit is not rights and privileges and position, but the Father himself (see Romans 8 vv. 15-17).
Paul is talking about being included in a family relationship, about being given a place not just at the table, but in a shared life. Adoption is inclusion in the family itself, so that the love and joy, the interests of the family become ours, too. We are not only wanted and welcomed, but known and accepted, and so embraced as to taste and feel and experience the family life for ourselves. It’s about relationship, about communion, about the sharing of souls, about knowing and being known, loving and being loved – oneness – with the Father…
‘The truth is that our adoption has already happened in Jesus. Paul sees Jesus’ ascension as the moment when we were included. ‘Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ is the beautiful life of the blessed Trinity itself. And the Father has blessed us with this life in Jesus, just as he planned it long ago… Paul is telling us that this was the plan from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1 vv. 3-5). Chosen in Him, predestined through Jesus Christ. What could this mean but that, before Creation, the blessed Trinity agreed upon the incarnation of the Son as the way our adoption would be accomplished? Jesus was chosen first, and then we were chosen in him. Chosen in him, predestined through Jesus, means that Jesus Christ – and what became of us in him – was not an afterthought, but the first thought, the original and only plan of the triune God…
‘For Jesus is not ‘Plan B’, which the Father , son and Spirit quickly thought up and implemented after the failure of ‘Plan A’ in Adam. Jesus is ‘Plan A’, the first, the original, and only plan. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.The ascension of Jesus, and ours in him, is not an afterthought, but the goal of creation. Jesus ‘in His Father’ and ‘us in him’ is not a halfway adjustment, but the dream of the blessed Trinity from before the foundation of the world.
The Shack Revisited, C. Baxter Kruger