"See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God. For that is who we are!" (1 John 3:1 NIV)
Since before the beginning of time the Father has only had one plan and that was for a family. A family of sons and daughters who would live in relationship with him and be able to experience a perfect Father's love. His plan has always been that we would be like Jesus and would know and experience exactly the same love that Jesus knows and experiences.
Often we view the cross as the pinnacle of Jesus' ministry, the purpose for him coming to earth. In no way am I diminishing the power of the cross and the amazing work that Jesus accomplished on that cross. The cross was the only way for the Father's plan to be achieved. It was necessary in order to redeem us and bring us back to the Father.
The cross, though, is not an end in itself. It is the means to an end which means it becomes the doorway for the outpouring of Father's love into our hearts. Everything that Jesus spoke about in John 14 is fulfilled through the cross as the Father's love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
That love changes everything. It is a love that brings us freedom. It is a love that brings us relationship. It is a love that brings us into our eternal sonship.
It is the fulfillment of the Father's plan: that you and I may know we are loved as Jesus is loved.
I have revealed to them who you are and I will continue to make you even more real to them, so that they may experience the same endless love that you have for me, for your love will now live in them, even as I live in them! (John 17:26 TPT)
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