For all the blessings of common grace we receive from the ongoing and rapid advances in technology, one thing we have struggled to receive from ever-morphing gadgets and gizmos is a sense of awe over God and a sense of expectation about what he may do next.
“Behold, I am making all things new,” declares Jesus Christ. The same promise is made by the inventors of electronic doodads. But only Jesus is telling the truth.
His renewing work killed him. But that is the way it’s supposed to work. Disobedience unto death is undone by obedience unto death, and only Jesus was Man enough to do that. Crushed by the weight of the cross, pinned there by envy and nails, stricken and open, he achieved victory most epic. The veil between heaven and earth tore,the grave gave up its dead, the universe tightly wound in its own burial shroud rapidly unravels. Can you feel it shaking? “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
And so the Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and
that the heavens declare the glory of God, that the glory of God is evident in creation. For this reason, John Calvin spoke of creation as “the theater of God’s glory,” a worldwide proscenium under which the wonder of Christ was to be beheld, projected, and enjoyed. Every jot and tittle of general revelation is meant as an arrow to the special revelation of the living and sovereign Word of God. Mark Talbot writes:
In the Institutes, “this most glorious theater” means our universe, and the works referred to are God’s work in creation and providence. Like an architect who manifests his greatness in every feature of an opera house from the grand sweep of its tiered balconies to his little touches with its light switches, so God reveals and “daily discloses [his glory] in the whole workmanship of the universe” from the splendor of the heavens to the shape and structure of the toenails on an infant’s feet.
The story told in the theater is set in the theater itself — which is to say, God says something through creation about the gospel that says something about creation — and Jesus is the central player in the whole shebang. The entire Bible unfolds this intricate story for us, first in shadows, finally in blazing light.
This is a slightly edited excerpt from Gospel Deeps, forthcoming from Crossway in 2012.
Photo by Tommy Eliassen.