It is very interesting to me that this year Good Friday and Earth Day are going to be celebrated together. Well you do not really ‘celebrate’ Earth Day but you know what I mean. You probably wondering what I am trying to get to with this. Let me explain. There is a huge connection in the Bible (especially the Old Testament) between the obedience of humanity and the state of the Earth. When God created Adam and Eve, His second command to them after the command of reproduction was to take care of the Earth. Many Christians take that to mean that the Earth was created to our benefit and this is true. But we are also the protectors and maintainers of it. There is another link we have to the Earth. When our father and mother ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, what was God’s punishment for the man? “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall ear of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” One of the consequences for their actions was the cursing of the earth.
It goes on throughout the Scriptures continually making connections between our obedience and the state of the Earth. In Dueteronomy 28, Moses tells Israel, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today,… blessed shall you be in the field.” He then goes on later saying, “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today,…cursed shall you be in the field.” The Earth, including animals, plants and everything, was taken from its perfect state at the beginning because of our sinfulness. In no way am I going to say anything about today such as that global warming is because of the modern world’s sinfulness. This is not exactly the case. All imperfections of creation are there because of the sinfulness of humanity as a whole. Not just those who live today and not just those who lived in previous ages. We are all responsible.
Paul says in Romans 8:22-23, “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.” All of creation groans in agony because it longs to be remade at the Second Coming. This is where Earth Day seems to fit in so well with Good Friday. All creation ‘knew’ the Messiah had come. A star itself pointed to his birth. So when Jesus was killed and then rose again, all of creation must have been rejoicing because it meant that it would be remade soon. Therefore when we celebrate Good Friday this week, let us think about the fact that all of creation was rejoicing at his death and resurrection because it meant that glorification was not far away. The day was soon coming when “[The Lord will] create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind….The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall no hurt or destroy in all [the Lord’s] mountain.”