(This is a short series of short posts on the incarnation as we lead up to Christmas)
Since the Eternal Son did not just pretend to be human but became flesh himself, he did it fully and completely for us. This means there is a permanence to His incarnation. The eternal Son will not one day just shrug-off his flesh, because to do so would be to shrug-off his saved ones. We will always be dependant on the Son’s union with creation – for we will always be created, and the moment the Son casts-off his createdness he would be casting-off us as well.
In other words, from the perspective of eternity, there are two “times”; The eternity-past when God was not united with his creation through his Word, and the eternity-future when God is united with his creation through Jesus; his Word-made-flesh.
This has many implications; but one is the question about God being “unchanging”. If God always remains the same and never changes, how can he change from being “not-united-with-creation” to “united-with-creation”?
The answer is that God remains the same in both times; before the incarnation he is the type of God who would join his creation to save them. He is the same God of love. His character is unchanging through both sides.
This has a very important implication about God’s affections for creation. We should avoid the idea that God somehow vindicated the goodness of creation at a certain point in time; like the resurrection (as some have suggested), or the incarnation (as others have suggested). God wasn’t waiting in some kind of ho-hum state, working out whether he thought creation was a good idea or not. And we were not in the dark about how God felt about creation before the Son was incarnate or before Jesus was resurrected.
God’s Word that created had always intended to also join his creation. His eternal intention is what makes creation (and us) valuable.