God loves to create – this one act of God contains the entire Biblical narrative. The first verses record His bringing life from nothing and the last verses tell of His restoration of a perfect and eternal creation. And everything in the middle explains how we get from one to the other. Hence, it cannot be a coincidence that we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection in early spring. As the earth is turning from winter sleep into new life, we reflect on God’s power to bring life from death. Nature at springtime is the backdrop and the physical example of the cosmic implications of the death and resurrection of the Creator. As we’ve spent the week together contemplating what was accomplished by the cross, one theme has become self-evident. Namely, God is a God of transformation. We’ve seen sin become righteousness, law turned to liberty, separation forged into restoration, and death raised to life. Each of the former things – sin, law, separation, death – marked our lives before God entered the picture (both personally and in the history of mankind). These were signs of what Jesus terms the “Old Covenant” – of the time when sin ruled all Creation’s fate.
On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion He had a last meal with His followers where He told them that His upcoming sacrifice would usher in the New Covenant. This was the moment that all the rustling pages of history had whispered of. This was the day when the world would no longer be defined by sin but by God’s grace. The promise of the New Covenant was given this way:
For this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. ..For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Heb 10:16 and Jer 31:33
The New Covenant would redefine humanity and the rest of the creation’s fate as God promises to forgive and transform our hearts. The New Covenant is characterized by God’s grace, outflowing in righteousness, freedom, relationship, and life all offered freely and without reservation. A new creation was spoken into existence with the resurrection of Jesus; a new paradigm of grace was in effect. Instead of a trajectory leading to death, all Creation did an about-face at the cross and headed towards Life instead. Our world, our lives,and our hearts are still wrestling with the presence of sin, but its power has been broken and we have the opportunity to choose a new life in relationship with God. God promises that nothing can ever separate us from His love – nothing that we have done, nothing that has been done to us, not our fears about the future, or our guilt of the past. His love forgives every sin, redeems every pain, heightens every joy, and fulfills every promise. We are given a glimpse into the future glory God plans for all who will join with Him in His transforming work. The hope and consummation of His grace:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Rev 21:1-5
Blessings to you,