“Jesus is not Plan B.”
Maybe you’ve heard this phrase; I have. In fact, I’ve said it many times. And there’s a good reason to say it – when we say something like this, we are trying to help someone understand that from the beginning of time, God has always had it as His plan for Jesus to be born of a virgin, live a perfect life, and die in the place of sinners. It’s not that sin frustrated His original plan, and so God had to move on to the backup of Jesus.
No – the cross and the resurrection is not some afterthought that God came up with after His first plan didn’t work.
This is good news for us; very good news indeed. Because if Jesus was a “Plan B” then it would have massive implications about the character of God. Consider, for a moment, why we as human beings move from Plan A to Plan B. We might do it because we are presented with new information about something. There is something we didn’t know about a circumstance or a person or an issue, and based on this new information, we are compelled to change the way we think about it. But God knows every circumstance down to the molecular level. There is never a moment when He’s caught off guard or surprise; never an instance when He is shocked or dismayed.
Or we might move to Plan B because we learn something new about our intent, our motivation, or our feelings. The human heart is a confusing, mixed up, and twisted sort of place. As a result, when we reflect on our decisions and opinions of the past, we almost always realize that though we thought we were acting for one reason, there was actually something else going on inside of us at the time. Not so with God. God knows Himself, and He always acts in accordance with His perfect character.
Or we might move to Plan B because Plan A simply didn’t work. We thought we had a good idea; we thought we had a good strategy; but for whatever reason, we couldn’t push Plan A through to its completion. So we pivot and move on. But God doesn’t do that. God executes His plans in the way and fashion He sees fit; He is not bound by anything in doing so.
To say that Jesus is Plan B is to make a charge against the knowledge, character, or power of God. It’s to say that God in some way is deficient. So thank God that Jesus is not Plan B, for God is perfect in all His ways both now and forever.
Here’s the thing, though – just as it’s wrong to think of Jesus as Plan B, it’s also wrong to think of Jesus as Plan A.
Because when we say “Plan A,” we are by implication saying that there are other plans in place. Plan B, C, and so forth – contingencies in case Plan A doesn’t pan out the way we expect it to.
This is also not true for the same reasons. God is not waiting to see whether or not this whole Jesus thing plays itself out the way He expects. Nor is He merely hoping that He has enough fortitude and influence to make Plan A really go.
Jesus is not Plan B. Nor is He Plan A. He is simply God’s plan – past, present, and future:
“God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).