Look around today. Look at the world. Look at the people, cars, businesses, and houses. Look at the sun, trees, and animals. Look at culture, entertainment, technology, and news. This is our world. This is the beautiful and broken, the lovely and languishing. This is the place we live.
There’s sin here. We can feel it. We know it. It’s a personal issue for us and everyone we see, but it’s also a cosmic problem. We almost can’t define it, but we do our best by saying the world itself is broken, stained, and messed up. Yes, it’s people in it who cause such hurt—it’s sin in us that is the greatest problem in the world. But something also just isn’t right here, in our society, in our world, on this planet, in this universe.
This is why the Bible doesn’t only speak about sin as a problem for people, but for the whole world and creation. Sin enter humanity and it entered the world (Romans 5:12). The earth became cursed (Genesis 3:17). Creation now is groaning (Romans 8:22).
To what degree this has affected everything, only God knows. But though we may not know degree, we know reality. We see sin’s residue and try to imagine what the original of this all was like—what was the unstained. As we do so, we try to hold the good and throw the bad, but even much good is stained with ill. We can’t fully fathom this world without sin and brokenness.
But one day, it’ll happen.
Look around once again. This is the creation Jesus has purchased. This is the world, earth, and universe he has reconciled back to himself (Colossians 1:20).
When we read he’s “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:30), we understand that he dies to forgive people, particularly people from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9). And this is wonderful gospel-truth. But it’s also true that he will wipe away the sin of the world. “Sin” in that verse is singular. There’s sin—this presence of evil, this reality that makes everything not right—hanging over this world. It’s a cosmic issue. But he the Sin-Taker is going to cosmically wipe it away.
“The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21). There’s a freedom coming for this entire cosmos. There’s a reversing of the corruption, a restoration of health coming to this earth. What will such vitality be like? What will it be like to look around and see no stain, no curse, no hurt, no things-shouldn’t-be-this-way? God only knows. But we know one thing, it’ll be glorious.
I look forward to that day. I look forward to living in that world. I hope you do too.