ODJ: Jesus Died for Cows?

November 16, 2018 

READ: Romans 8:18-25 

With eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay (vv.20-21).

My professor surprised our class one day when he said, “Jesus died for cows.” He didn’t mean we should evangelise cattle. But, he explained, since cows are part of the creation “subjected to God’s curse” (Romans 8:20) as a result of human sin, cows belong to the world that “has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (v.22). That means cows are part of the “everything” God is bringing “under the authority of Christ”, having “reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Colossians 1:20).

Humans were placed in creation as God’s image bearers, created to exercise authority over cows—and the entire world—on His behalf (Genesis 1:27, 2:15). That means that when human beings rebelled against God, we took the entire creation down with us. Even cows now suffer because of our sin.

Can you see the signs of a “groaning” creation? The earth wasn’t meant to suffer from destructive quakes, floods and tornadoes. Gardens weren’t meant to be besieged by briars, blight and blossom-end rot.

I love fruits and vegetables, but every pineapple and tomato I’ve ever eaten has come from cursed soil. Imagine the sweetness of oranges and mangoes when Jesus returns and restores all things! (Acts 3:21). How vibrant will the colours be! How lush will be the plants that grow in a renewed and restored creation!

Everything that sin has wrecked, Jesus will restore. The Christmas hymn says it well. Jesus will “come and make His blessings flow far as the curse is found”. Far as the curse is found? Yes, “far as the curse is found”. Joy to the world!

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Acts 27:1-26

Read Isaiah 65:17-25. What will our world be like when Jesus returns? 
What bothers you most about your life? About this world? How do these troubles prompt you to pray for the return of Jesus?