It has been the intention of the Father, since man disobeyed in the Garden of Eden… to redeem all that He had created. The extent of His purpose goes far beyond simply the redemption of our immortal and eternal souls. It extends to the very planet on which we now live (Genesis 3:17)… to the universe in which we now exist.
Everything is impacted (see Colossians 1:20-21).
We sometimes miss that in our preaching and teaching and in our Scripture reading. God intends to bring everything back to Himself in perfect harmony. That was how He intended it to be from before the beginning: “The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.” (1 Peter 1:20)
When mankind fell, creation fell with him. Adam was the intended ruler of everything God had made. Since he was the representative head (Psalm 8:5-8), everything followed him in death, decay and destruction because of his disobedience. (Romans 8:22) The world fell into chaos; death and disease began to rule. Man lost his place of headship and the right to rule over creation.
We forget sometimes how far-reaching the effects of sin can be. All of creation was affected. And when we look at a world that is so broken, so in turmoil between people and nations… we too can easily lose sight of what Eden used to be.
But God never has. In the Bible God has revealed His intent to redeem and restore what was once pristine and perfect; spotless and sinless; back to its original state and see man walk in it as only Adam has done. (Romans 8:18-21)
The schemes of Satan will not stop this… the sin of mankind will not delay this… the brokenness of our lives will not defeat this plan. God has promised. It will happen. He sealed that promise through the blood of His only begotten Son.
One interesting way we see the promise reflected in Scripture is through the presence of the onyx stone. We are shown in Genesis 2, that one of the four rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden before The Fall of man was the Pishon. It flowed through the land of Havilah where “the gold was good, and onyx was there.” (Genesis 2:12)
The onyx reappears in one of the most vivid pictures of God’s redemption in the Old Testament on the breastplate of the High Priest; a foreshadowing of Christ’s office as our High Priest. On his breastplate were stones that reminded God of His promises to His people Israel. (Exodus 28:9-12) The two onyx stones were on the shoulders of the breast piece; a reminder of the perfection of Eden.
And the last place we encounter this beautiful onyx stone in the Bible is in the book of Revelation where it will be a foundation stone in the wall of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem… forever. (Revelation 21:20) The onyx has been a continual reminder of what man lost… and what God has and will restore.
The New Jerusalem, Heaven come down to earth, will be the final part of God’s plan of redemption in place… forever. In one of the oldest books in the Bible, we read, “And I know that my redeemer lives and will stand on the earth at the last day.” (Job 19:25) And in that place, eternally… the perfection of Eden will be restored and “the dwelling of God will be with man” (Revelation 21:3).
FOR MEMORIZATION: “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things…..” Colossians 1:19-20a
FOR REFLECTION: In Colossians 1:20a listed above, what is the significance of the phrase “all things” rather than the phrase “all people?”