“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image
of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IF OR SURE, we are known before God since the beginning. Yet how extraordinary that He planned it according to the pleasure of His will to be predestined in the image of His Son, not in form or figure, but in bearing the cross of suffering in resemblance to Christ, so as to become partners in His cross and suffering. God thus planned from the beginning for human creation to completely resemble the image of His Son in suffering, the cross, resurrection and glory.
In this way Christ was considered the firstborn son of the new creation, reckoning that those who believe in Christ will become numerous brothers by means of Christ, the Head, the firstborn of the new creation.
This selection of the faithful, to become numerous brothers bearing the image of Christ in His suffering and cross, was considered since the beginning the blessed choice from God for the new man: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”1
Thus the Apostle Paul considered we were chosen since the beginning in resemblance to the image of His Son, of course in the cross sufferings and glory of resurrection. Truly and justifiably our Lord Jesus Christ became in relation to humanity, He created in His body, its firstborn, the firstborn to death, resurrection and forthcoming glory. Also the new creation became reckoned brothers in Him and He their Head.
That which we emphasize so as to clarify our share in Christ is that God since the foundation of the world foreknew us. The Father’s knowledge of us is a revelation of the truth of man with his whole past, present and future.
His words of foreknowledge of our predestination restricted the circle of choice. So that God predestined since the beginning those who are His and whom He loved, giving up His Son to become a sacrifice for their sake.
As for making us in resemblance to the image of His Son, it is a partnership in suffering, sharing the cross, resurrection, and sharing the glory and everlasting life.
The Bible says: “Known to God from eternity are all His works.”2 So that there is nothing new to God, because He had previously planned everything. This gives us a very deep and elevated feeling of God’s relation to us. The Old Testament says that He inscribed us on the palm of His hands3. The inspiration on the lips of God says: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you,”4 “for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”5 For the eyes of God are on His chosen throughout the day. We move and exist within a circle reckoned by God which we cannot break.
As Christ says, He creates out of us: “one flock and one shepherd.”6 As He says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”7 More exactly, He is the door, it being impossible for anyone to enter into the presence of God except through Him.8
My whole life is bared to You, O God, so protect me with Your shield.
Since the beginning we are known by You, and You blessed us with the blessing of Your grace.
You showed us the way of our salvation, and led us to the partnership of Your Son.
We thus had the blessing of heaven, and fulfilled the way with the cross of Your Son.
For us You fulfilled Your grace outpouring Your love on us.
Lead us O Lord on the way of Your cross, fulfilling Your guidance
To reach the goal and complete the deliberation of Your Father in glory.
July 9, 2005
1 Eph 1:3, 4.
2 Acts 15:18.
3 Note Is 49:16.
4 Is 49:15.
5 Zech 2:8.
6 John 10:16.
7 John 14:6.
8 Note John 10:9; 14:6.
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