Some kind of journey, is essential to what it means to be human. Redeemed humanity will have a history and memory which would not be there if we had been created straight for “heaven”. God wants the kind of beings we will be in the new heaven and earth more than the kind of beings we might have been without the possibility and history of suffering, death, and sin.
I cannot remember from where this thought came to me a few years ago. I do not remember having come across the blog https://thinkingreed.wordpress.com before today but Lee M.'s post Was this trip really necessary? could have been the inspiration.
My reasoning is that, just as my personal history is an essential part of my identity, the history of the human species is an essential part of its identity. ... maybe the long evolutionary history of humanity is an essential part of us. Human-like creatures created in an immediate state of blessedness simply wouldn’t be human beings since they wouldn’t be the heirs of human biological history. If they were close enough replicas they might have the characteristics of humans, but those characteristics wouldn’t be the result of the same process that created us.
...Christian theology has usually held that the condition of the blessed redeemed is superior to the original condition of Adam and Eve in the garden. Redemption is not simply a restoration of Eden, but a transition to a higher state. So it seems that humanity was always destined for a journey from a less exalted state to a more exalted one; going through a historical process is essential to our destiny.
Another consideration: creation, in the opening chapters of Genesis, is said to be good, not perfect. This allows for a development or process toward better things, even if we recognize that at some point humanity went off the rails into sin and away from God’s intentions. (This is a more “Irenaean” picture of the fall than an Augustinian one.)
Finally: a robust minority tradition in Christian theology has held that, even if there had been no fall, God would still have become incarnate to unite human nature to the Divine, and to manifest the divine love to creation. This also seems to imply that humanity was not created in an original state of perfect blessedness, but with a potential for that state – being united in the closest possible relationship with God.
So, there are both theological and broadly philosophical reasons for thinking that some kind of process of development, some kind of journey, is essential to what it means to be human. This suggests that, if God wanted to create human beings and raise them to communion with the divine life, then it was necessary to create them as part of an unfolding, historical process rather than in an immediate state of static perfection. And that only after becoming the kinds of beings we are can we be raised to communion with the divine life. And it may further be that such a process inherently involves the possibility of suffering, death, and sin.