What does it cost to follow Jesus? Even more important: What will it cost to not follow Jesus? Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” If we are going to follow Jesus on the same path that He walked, it will cost us everything. If we want to pursue the mission He has given us, we can’t look back.
Today is both Earth Day and Good Friday. For some people, Earth Day is of primary importance. Others are only talking about Good Friday and think that people who celebrate Earth Day are pagan nature worshipers.
But maybe an emphasis on the cross and on creation is appropriate for a day like today. In Romans 8, Paul writes the following:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility-not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it-in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits-we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? – Romans 8:18-24 (HCSB)
The cross brings hope and the promise of healing to all of creation. The suffering, the corruption, and the futility we experience in the world is a direct result of the creation turning our collective backs on our Creator. It started with Adam and Eve’s first act of disobedience but every denial of God since then has contributed to the mess.