I've often wondered why God created mankind. In conversation with other Christians I've discovered this to be a common question: why'd He do it?
The question stretches our understanding of God: if God is omnipotent, then surely he knew what would happen to Jesus as a result of making mankind. God can see the future, so he must have known the price... this didn't catch Him by surprise did it?
Whenever I've asked someone this question, the immediate answer was always something like: "well, God loves you and wants to spend eternity with you, and this was the only way". But this always seemed 'weak' to me. Didn't God love Jesus too? Wasn't there some other way?
I was running through these thoughts one day while mowing the yard and started praying; I asked God for insight into this question. While God is not always immediate when He answers my prayers, the answer did come immediately on this day. I won't say that I went into a trance, but a story flashed across my consciousness as if I were watching a movie:
I was a dad on a business trip to the west coast (we live in the Eastern time zone). I had several children: an older biological son and several adopted children much younger. It was late at night. My cell phone rang and my oldest son shouted in a panicked voice: "Dad, I just got home and the house in on fire! What should I do?"
What should I tell my son? I cannot rescue the other children myself. I love my oldest son. I love all my children. Equally. I do the only thing I can: "Son, you need to rescue your siblings; you're the only one who can."
So, was this a message from God or the aimless wanderings of a mind not fully occupied by mowing the yard? I believe the former. Consider the evidence: God did indeed send His oldest, only begotten son to die for his adopted children. That's really it. Can you imagine this act if God loved us less than our big Brother?
This realization led me to further considerations: Does adoption really count? I've always considered myself as Child of God second class as compared to Jesus, but this contradicts my personal experience as a father: I can say unequivocally that yes, adoption does count.
Further, consider the scripture. Biblical inheritance is passed from father to son. Could Jesus be of the lineage of David, a "son of David" as Bartimaeus calls him, if not for His adoption by Joseph? The entirety of God's promise to Abraham and the Davidic lineage falls apart if adoption doesn't count.(Note that this point was recently driven home to me by Russell Moore in his book Adopted for Life).
I can only draw one conclusion from all this: the answer to my question is, in fact, as simple as originally communicated to me: 'because God loves us'.
However, I would take this one step farther: because God loves all his children equally.
Do you believe that? That God loves you as he loves Jesus?
If you don't, then ask yourself: why does God call us his children? Why is Christ called the son of David? And, finally, why'd he create us to start with?