Sunday, March 30, 2014

Environment and the Cross

Key verse. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed (then) the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:19,21.

Six days it took for God to create the world and proclaim it very good. One moment of rebellion shattered it all. The account in Genesis chapters 1-3 is simple, sometimes terse and to the point. Adam’s sin is so profound it not only enveloped his offspring, it tainted all of creation. Yahweh then cursed the ground which turned some of what was pronounced “good” into thorns and weeds. Compounding this tragedy we are informed in Ephesians 2:2 that Satan set up his control centre ‘in the air.’ Since that time the universe has been under the sentence of extinction, “They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded” (Psalm 102:26). Climate change is evidence of this!

“If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes, how much less man, who is vile and corrupt and drinks up evil like water” (Job 15:15-16)! Why are the heavens impure? Many of the constellations, including the signs of the Zodiac, became objects of worship and subjects of idolatry. “The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me (God) to anger” (Jeremiah 7:18).

Further, the actions of Humankind has polluted the very ground it has walked upon. “Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Numbers 35:33). It becomes very apparent that Creation has been in bondage and under a curse since that day Adam violated his trust around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. How easy it is for us to take lightly the doctrine of sin and its wicked and degrading power. This is part of the reason why the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments reveal a new heaven and a new earth coming. When that takes place righteousness and peace will rule.

Before the Day of the Lord ushers in such a wonderful new Creation, the curse on the old creation must be lifted. The prince of the power of the air must be dethroned. The polluted land, saturated by innocent and unrequited bloo
d must be atoned for. How could this happen? Who could bear the curse, purify the heavens and atone for the land? Of course we know it could only be the Creator. In becoming a curse upon the tree (Galatians 3:13) Jesus lifted from all Humankind and Creation the horror begun in Eden. The tree on Calvary provided the ‘fruit’ for the condemned sinners that would heal them of the curse. It also provided the power to transform the environment, one day, into atmosphere of Eden. Isaiah 11:6-9 describes that time, usually named the Millennium, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them …The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest… the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord…”

In the Romans’ passage the Apostle gives redeemed creation personification as it anticipates the day of liberation. Similar to us who are saved and looking forward to its ultimate fulfilment, creation awaits the promise of God written in Isaiah’s passage. It’s as though creation knows something more about the future glory than we do, even with the completed Scriptures. It is waiting for the day when the sons of God are revealed. That surely points to the completion of God’s purposes in salvation and purification. What a wonderful day it will be when all the saved enter into God’s millennium kingdom, for which we have prayed in the Lord’s Prayer!

When Jesus was grappling with all the issues of sin, curses and judgement the heavens covered the scene with its dark shroud. It was as though it too was ashamed of its part in the cross. What a change Sunday morning of the resurrection would have brought. Salvation was for Humankind and a return to Eden’s pre-fall time was assured for Creation.

Reflection. Do I have a sense of expectancy similar to Creation’s about enjoying God’s reign on earth with his throne set in Jerusalem?

Cross thread. My word that goes out from my mouth it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire…Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed. Isaiah 55:11,13.

No comments:

Post a Comment