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Jesus took transracial adoption to the cross not to make a statement against it, but rather to accomplish it. When Jesus went to the cross, transracial adoption—the bringing of both Jews and Gentiles into God’s household (Ephesians 2:11-22)—was gloriously stamped on his mind and deeply and lovingly embedded in his heart. How do I know this to be the case? Because on the eve of his crucifixion, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cried, “Abba! Father!” (Mark 14:36).

When we read the words “Abba! Father!”, we must remember that as Israel’s Messiah Jesus was also the Savior of the world. As a matter of fact, when Jesus cried, “Abba! Father!”, he was actually declaring in love that he was the Savior of the world.

During New Testament times, Aramaic was the language of the Jews. So, when the word Abba (Father) came from Jesus’ lips in Gethsemane, he was crying out to his Father on behalf of the Jews he was sent to redeem. But Jesus didn’t just use the Aramaic word for Father when he cried out. He also used the Greek word for Father, and he did so on behalf of the Gentiles he was sent to redeem.

When Jesus cried “Abba! Father!” in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was well on his way to lovingly breaking “down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) between Jews and Gentiles and making both “members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). Here’s why this truth is so crucial for us to recognize: transracial adoption—the bringing of both Jews and Gentiles into God’s household—was not a byproduct of Christ’s redemptive mission. It was a central objective of it.

I’m convinced that what God does vertically, namely, adopt transracially, should transform and inform the way we think about transracial adoption horizontally. By “transform and inform” I absolutely do not mean to say that since God adopts transracially, everyone who adopts should adopt a child of another ethnicity. If that is what I was meaning to say, I’d give you a free pass to smack me hard in the face, several times if you wanted to!

What I do mean by “transform and inform” is that Christians should be decidedly pro-transracial adoption. Since Jesus took the mission of transracial adoption with him to the cross on the vertical plane, there should not be any such thing as a Christian who is anti-transracial adoption on the horizontal plane. After all, when God adopted us as His children, He “sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:6).

This is not to say, though, that we do not need to think deeply, seriously, and prayerfully when considering whether or not we should adopt across ethnicity. The sociological complexities of adopting across race must not be minimized or ignored. We live in a very race-conscious world, and evidence of the complexities of our race-conscious world could be collected and cited ad nauseam. The “Abba! Father!” work of Jesus will not permit us to believe that Christian love and practice should be color-blind. When Jesus cried, “Abba! Father!” in Gethsemane, he was not being color-blind. He was actually lovingly uniting all colors and ethnicities within his own Person to bring all of us to his Father, breaking “down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” and creating “in himself one new man in place of the two.” Wow.

When Jesus took transracial adoption to the cross for love’s sake, he gave us a profound reason and obligation to lovingly think deeply, seriously, and prayerfully about the complexities of race-relations, whether these relationships, or lack thereof, happen in our country, state, city, neighborhood or home. Given the importance that Ephesians 2 places on race-relations, I, for one, know that I need to think much more deeply about this cross-centered matter. Big time. And what should motivate me to do so is the Good News that Jesus has brought us all, whether Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, or slave into the household of the Father.

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