I was just reading a blog post on Saint Nicholas, saying that the council of Nicea once met to discuss the idea of Christ’s eternity. Warning: I did no research on their findings prior to writing this. I just think that it’s an interesting idea to explore. Because Christ was born, we assume that his life began. So did he exist in heaven prior to being born on earth? Are there references to the son in the Old Testament?
I think that if the word was with God in the beginning. And the word became flesh. Something changed.
The way that I look at it, God always knew that he may need Jesus to save the world. I’m not sure if he definitely knew this or not. Regardless, lets just say in his endless foresight, he knew that this need was possible. Therefore, the idea of Jesus existed then. And if the will of God is to have the maximal amount of free creatures to be joined in the body of Christ, this was at very least a necessary back-up plan. Because if Adam and Eve sinned, then there would have to be a redemption. And for there to be a redemption, there would have to be a redeemer.
The word became flesh. The promise became reality. The thought became real. If it was God’s will to redeem all the free creatures that chose to believe in him, Jesus had to be a part of God’s original plan. So his existence in God’s foreknowledge means that at very least he existed always in some fashion.
The question becomes: did he know that Adam and Eve would sin? Because if he did, Jesus was not just a possibility, he was a certainty. But if Adam and Eve’s outcome was not known by God, the idea of Jesus was part of a foolproof redemptive plan. But his necessity was ultimately unknown. There would exist possible futures where presumably generations of humans had the same choice that Adam and Eve had.
But let’s just say that Adam and Eve didn’t eat from the tree of knowledge. Or their children. But their grandchildren did. So Eden would presumably still exist, along with access to the tree of life. There would be another tribe of humans outside the garden and outside of the grace of God. They would need to be able to make the same decision that Adam and Eve made. Those in the garden could choose knowledge of good and evil and to exit the garden, but those outside the garden would need a path to redemption.
Christ would be needed to save them. As long as at least one human chose to eat from the tree, Jesus was needed. And since humans were free creatures, not perfect creatures, some would choose to eat the fruit.
Therefore, all scenarios of imperfect humans with free will lead to sin and need a savior. And Christ was not a possibility. He was always needed.
And if Jesus was certainly needed, and existed as an idea prior to his birth and prior to Adam and Eve, he first existed as an idea, then as a prophesy, then as a person. But always in the will of God. So he was always going to be.