A Sign of Hope

On the sixth day, God contemplated his finished creation in its vast splendor and saw that it was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). But he did not yet see the “very best.” That was because even before he created, God had decreed that “the best of all possible worlds” was not to be at the beginning, but rather at the end of history. That, too, was why he made Adam and Eve to be his image bearers—to give them the privilege and responsibility, unique among his creatures, of working for their Creator-Lord and so to bring the creation to its intended consummation.

Our first parents, however, proved to be unfaithful and unprofitable servants, and the rest is history—the sad, calamitous history of human sinfulness and God’s just wrath and curse on that sin. “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Rom. 5:20). In his wrath, God did remember mercy (Hab. 3:2). God purposed, despite sin, not to abandon the creation. He purposed to save a people for himself. He sent his own, only begotten Son to be the new, “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). By his life, death, resurrection, and ascension he has not only canceled out the punishment we sinners deserve, but has also secured the realization of God’s original purposes for the entire creation. As “head over everything for the church” (Eph. 1:22), he is presently working, by his Spirit, for the full realization of those purposes at his return. Then, as he surveys the new heavens and the new earth in their final, unshakable perfection (Heb. 12:26–28), he will in fact see the “very best.”