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Knots.

Back to Good Again: How Easter Shapes Our View of Creation

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. – Romans 8:21-23

“Good … Good … Good … Good … Good … Good … Very Good.” Seven times in the first chapter of Genesis alone God looks at his creation and calls it “good.” Plants and animals. Light and darkness. Mankind himself and everything God had made. Good.

But that perfect creation – just the way God had designed it – didn’t stay that way for long. Sin enters, and the fall of man leads to a curse over all of creation. Thorns and thistles, pain and grief, enter into God’s good creation, and it’s no longer the way it’s supposed to be. When struggling in the midst of this fallen and broken world in which we still live, it is easy to feel that the goal of life is to escape such a world into a spiritual realm. But God has something better in mind for us and for the world He created. And Easter proves it.

When Jesus rises from the grave on Easter morning, everything changes. There are many significant aspects of the resurrection, and one of them is that it signifies and starts the restoration of all of creation. The Bible teaches that Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t theoretical or spiritual but rather bodily, in flesh and blood. And this matters because it combats the dualism we can so easily feel that “matter” is bad and “spirit” is good. It reminds us that Jesus’ goal wasn’t to escape the material world and his human body but rather to see it transformed and renewed.

The hope of the rest of Scripture is not that we will leave our bodies and this world behind to go float on clouds with God; rather, the promise is of the creation itself being freed from the curse and redeemed alongside our very bodies (see Romans 8, printed above). Jesus’ resurrection was only the beginning, the “firstfruits,” of what God intends to do with his good creation gone bad. He hasn’t given up on his world or the glorious plans He has for his creation and his people.

And that is why we move into all areas of God’s creation to be a part of God’s work of reversing the effects of the Fall and making our world and ourselves what God created it and us to be. Where has God called the members of your small group individually to spend their time and energy to this end? How does the bodily resurrection give meaning to what sometimes feels like a “secular” or “meaningless” task? Where would God call you as a group together to reflect the reality of caring for God’s creation – bodies, plants, animals, and all the rest of it? God’s Word tells us that Easter changes everything for his people and his creation. What better conversation to have together than helping each other see how that’s true in our lives each day?!?

Death, ugliness, and other bad things are being conquered and restored to the life, beauty, and goodness of God’s glorious design. One day, Easter promises, all will be back to good again.

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You'll find most of my recommended books available in the Guest Center at Southwood.

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