Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt.1

The fact that our children are being dealt this condition of having a crooked back has a direct relationship to the Gospel. How? First, realize that sin in the Garden resulted in alienation between God and all of His creation. Paul states clearly that because of sin, creation itself was subjected to decay in Romans 8:-19-21:

Romans 8:19-21 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

What is amazing here is that Paul says that creation is waiting for redemption just like man waits for redemption. All of the pain and suffering we experience here in the now is intended to remind us that things in this world are not the way they’re supposed to be. As C.S. Lewis put it in Till We Have Faces, “Nothing is yet in its true form.” And when we realize this, it should stir up within us a longing for the restoration of all things when Christ will make all things new (Rev. 21:5, Psalm 102:25-27).

However, not everyone puts the problem of pain as being the work of the hand of God. If we take the materialistic approach to creation (i.e. believing that bad things just happen outside of God’s control), then as Vern Poythress puts it, “… that means that evil and suffering are inherent in the very nature of things, so there is no hope of finally eliminating wickedness. This is futility indeed, leading to despair.”

But God has not left us to despair—there is an actual connection to the Gospel. On the cross, Christ accomplished not only our salvation, but also secured the future restoration of all things. This is what Paul means when He says that God was pleased to reconcile all things to Himself by “making peace by the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1:16-20). And just as in Christ we will be resurrected, because of Christ, all of non-human creation will be restored:

“Christ's resurrection is the pattern for our resurrection. And according to Romans 8:21 our resurrection is the pattern for the liberation of creation. Thus Christ is at the center, both for us and for creation. This should not be surprising, when we realize that he is Creator and Lord of the entire cosmos (Col. 1:15-17). Since he is Creator, he is also Savior and Lord who redeems the entire cosmos from “futility,” the effects of the Fall (Col. 1:18-20). First comes creation, then redemption as the restoration of creation, and finally consummation as the goal of creation. All three hang together in the purpose of God. He accomplishes all three through his Son, the one Mediator.” (ibid. Poythress)

So how does the Gospel relate to Savannah and Sabrina’s scoliosis? It reminds us that infirmities are the result of the curse and that because of what our Saviour accomplished on the Cross, all of our infirmities will be eliminated in the end. Our focus then is not on the present pain and suffering of life, but on the end goal for which we were created—eternity with God, enjoying Him forever—and which was made possible by Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us!

Read about Savannah's Scoliosis
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 2
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 3
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 4
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 5

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