There is a story told of a man whose teenage son is brutally murdered by another boy--a member of a gang. While tragic, this part of the tale is nothing new. Gang related violence is anything but shocking in our day.
What happens next however stuns the ear: the father of the murdered boy pays the associated fees of the case and adopts his son’s killer as his own! Kirk Cameron, in The Biggest Question, recounts the tale here as he describes a meeting with this father and his adopted son.
An amazing story, indeed. One that actually sounds very much like my own adoption story. The exception is that, in my case, my Father planned for the death of His only Son that He might pay my debt and adopt me as His daughter. The story follows below and it is by far the greatest adoption story ever told.
My Father had but one Son and His love and pleasure rested fully in Him; for this Son was just like Him – a perfect reflection of His own glory and holiness (Colossians 1:15).
Before the foundation of the earth, my Father looked and saw other children. These, however were far from the image of His Son. They were the filthiest and most depraved children one could ever imagine. Rebellion was their nature and they were quite happy to continue in their way with no fear of God before their eyes (Romans 3:9-18).
With full knowledge of their determined disobedience, my Father predestined the adoption of these children. In accordance with His will and pleasure, and for the praise of His glorious grace, my Father chose for Himself children who did not love Him and were in fact brazen enemies (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21).
But the astonishment doesn't end there. The rescue plan for these children would involve the sacrifice of my Father’s Beloved Son. You see, His Son was the only One able to save them. For in Him alone was the unity of God (One who is sinless) and man (a representative Head) possible. So in the fullness of time, my Father sends His Son to represent sinners in both judgment and in righteousness (Galatians 4:4-5).
My Father displays His absolute hatred for sin by pouring His just wrath on His Son, the Judge and the Justifier in the case (Romans 3:23-26). He dies the death of a criminal on a gruesome Roman cross. But death could not hold the Sinless Savior (Acts 2:22-24)! After three days, He is victoriously raised from death and restored to the right hand of His Father, forever to reign as the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords (Acts 2:32-33; Revelation 19:13-16)! Appeased by the perfect atoning work of His Son, my Father credits the righteousness of His own Son to those who turn from their sin and cling to Him in trust (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I was the filthiest of all the children. Depravity and rebellion were my nature and while “religious” I lived with no fear of God before my eyes. But in accordance with the riches of His grace, my Father found me one day, and having predestined me from eternity to be His own, I had no strength to resist His will (Romans 8:29-30).
He gave me eyes to see my sin, ears to hear His Word and a heart to repent, trust and love Him. Oh what grace the Father has lavished on us! Once an estranged enemy, I have now received the Spirit of adoption as a daughter and by this Spirit I call to Him Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15-17). This is indeed the greatest adoption story ever told!
In this Resurrection season, let the Redeemed of the LORD consider the many blessings granted us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Among them is our adoption as sons and daughters of God. We are in the family – heirs of the Father and co-heir with Christ! It is an astounding work that glorifies the Godhead as the Father predestines, the Son redeems and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who guarantees our inheritance until we attain possession of it (Ephesians 1:11-14).
And what a rich inheritance we have! It is one that includes glorification (1 John 3:2) and an eternal home with God our Father (Revelation 21:3-4). Oh “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called Children of God” (1 John 3:1)! And indeed in Christ we are!
* An updated version of this post can be founded at the Reformed African American Network.