For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many were made righteous.

Romans 5: 19

 

It would seem that all of our progress as people and all of our learning and technological advances are relatively meaningless. For so much of the way that we live is as it is because of what a pair of singular individuals did at a moment in history that happened a very long time ago. We haven’t changed all that much over time. People still lie, cheat, and steal. Individuals do great harm to others, and groups of us do it with even larger zeal and force. Even the vast array of violence that God has directed His people to engage in as we find it depicted in the bible happens as a result of the sinful nature of us all. This is not the way that God created this world to function. God’s plan and design for humanity was not for us to be angry, fearful, and distanced from each other and from Him.

 

The impact of that rebellious act is our legacy. People live out their lives under the shadow of death because of it. Our world, God’s once perfect and beautiful creation, has become a vast graveyard. That which was originally holy ground has turned into something obscene. There is nothing in our learning that can reclaim it, either. Our technology and our commitment to reclamation are powerless in the face of the evil that infuses its soil. There is no amount of greenness that we can apply to our world that will penetrate even the first layer of its surface. It is all washed away in the flood of tears that the sorrow of loss brings. However, humanity’s lack of power and capacity to deal with the brokenness of our world should not lead us to hopelessness. In God’s view, this time of rebellion and the catastrophe that it brings upon Creation is a short episode, a moment in time. God knew that it would occur, and He was prepared to respond to all of it.

 

In a singular act of obedience, Jesus stepped out of His place in the heavens and engaged in the battle for our world as a part of humanity. He surrendered royalty for infancy, and the outworking of God’s plan for restoration of His Creation had begun. We are the primary focus of it all. Just as the creation of our ancestors was the supreme, pinnacle moment of God’s work in those days of earth’s formation, now the reclamation of people from the grip of sin and out of the walking death that it causes is God’s supreme focus. As we choose to obey God and follow Christ, His presence in us makes us right in God’s eyes. He also changes the very nature of who we are. It is this change in people that carries any real hope for peace and for reconciliation in our world. We can and we should strive for understanding in our world. Also, we should care about the health and the safety of the disadvantaged. God calls His people to love and to care for and about all people. However, the only hope that we can possess for real, valid, and transformative change in our world comes from and through Christ as He is made known by our obedience to His will.