By Russ Ramsey
I have a scar down the middle of my chest. I see it every day. It peeks up above my shirt collar just a little bit and my eye finds it most times when I look in the mirror. I have an affection for that scar. It reminds me of a time not long ago when my life was threatened by an infection in my heart, which required a team of surgeons to open me up and fix me.
The scar reminds me of how fragile life can be. It also reminds me of how resilient our bodies are. We were made to live. Death is a result of the fall, a consequence of sin. In my case, the doctors did their part, and then my body took over, working to put itself back together in a way that bore witness to the idea that we were created for life.
We come to the end of this Scripture reading plan focusing on a truth that is pretty difficult to get our minds and hearts around, but is nevertheless true and lies at the heart of—and is the entire point of—redemption. That truth is this: one day, every broken thing will be put right. There will be no more death. No more crying. No more sadness. No more suffering. No more injustice. No more betrayal. No more divorce. No more abuse. No more bacterial infections. No more need of doctors to cure them.
I wonder if, in the new heaven and new earth, my body will bear the scar that runs down my chest. I don’t think it will be there on my glorified body, but what do I know? Here’s what I am confident about, though. The restoration of creation will be accomplished and secured by One who does bear scars—the risen Christ. He bore on His resurrected body the marks of Golgotha’s nails and the centurion’s spear. After the resurrection, He still bore the wounds into which Thomas placed his hand. He still bears the wounds by which we, and all creation, shall be healed.
One day all creation will be restored. The old order of things—this world of pain, suffering, and affliction—will pass away. But the idea is bigger than just the removal of struggle. When Christ restores His kingdom forever, it isn’t just that the sad things will go away. It’s that everything will be right. Creation itself will be restored completely and forever. The Lord will say, “Look, I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5). This is where everything is headed, as sure as Christ has risen from the dead.