Graves into Gardens

And God said.

God’s voice broke the silence.  His words pierced the darkness.  The time had come for the interruption of emptiness, the declaration of creativity.   “Let there be light.”  And there was light.  God’s first creative activity—light.  Oceans would have to wait.  Mountain peaks be patient.  Galaxies on hold.  Light came first.  Darkness dissipated.  Nothingness evaporated.  Emptiness filled.

And God said.

Darkness fled like a hunted prisoner.  Never again would light and darkness mix.  Never again would darkness overpower light.  From this creative moment, light would always dominate darkness.  Darkness settled for second place—forever.  Day and night became reality.  No longer would life be lived in continuous blackness.  Night would always be sandwiched between two days.

And God said.

Nothing became something.  Darkness surrendered to light.  The abyss became the Grand Canyon.  Chaos succumbed to organization.  All because God spoke.

And God said.

Three words that have done more to change the course of history than any words ever spoken.  Who is this God?

Who is this God who dared interfere with the status quo?  Who is this God who spoke and worlds came into existence?  Who is this God who displaced darkness with the announcement of light?  Who is this God whose word is so trustworthy that the mere mention of his plans brings them into existence?

He is Elohim.  Creator God.  Designer of the universe.  He is the One who broke into nothingness and left orbiting planets and pulsating stars in its place.  Elohim—the One who stirred up dust and breathed into it the breath of life.  Elohim.

The very name means mighty, strong, powerful.  When God chose to reveal Himself, he displayed His power.  When God decided to invent humanity, He did so through the demonstration of unequivocal power.  When God initiated human life, He did so as the Sovereign ruler of the universe.

From Genesis 1:1 to 2:4, Elohim is used 35 times to describe God–and another 2,295 times in the rest of Scripture.  Though other names come later, Elohim stands alone in these verses as the descriptive name of God.  He is omnipotent.

Not only is He Elohim the creator God, and Elohim the covenant God; He is Elohim, the God who is three in One.  His voice resonates through the shining new creation, “Let us make man in our image.”  In that instant, He confers with the Son and the Spirit.  Their decision is unanimous.  As a matter of fact, their decision is always unanimous.  This is the Dream Team.  They never disagree—never.  Elohim is plural, yet consistently One.

In those early days, when the earth didn’t know the footprints of a man, where three-day old tigers explored newly created jungles, Elohim made a decision.  Looking at His Son He said, “Let us make man.”

Jesus, knowing that Eve would choose a bite of fruit over the sweetness of eternal bliss, said yes.  Jesus, knowing that man’s failure would require His faithfulness, said yes. Jesus, understanding man’s proclivity toward sin and his eventual need for a personal Savior, said yes.

No other team has ever worked like Elohim.  Though He is three in One, He is One in three.  There is no dissension, no difficulty.  He is Elohim—creator, covenant-maker, and Christ.

In that moment of decision, Jesus looked across the years and saw you.  He saw you cry in your mother’s arms.  He watched you take your first steps.  He witnessed your first spanking.  He saw the tears of your mother when she left you at school for the very first time.  He enjoyed your first basketball game, and the trophy, too!  He cringed when you looked at your friend’s Algebra paper, hurt when you laughed at your poorly dressed neighbor.  He wept when you went too far with your girlfriend.  His heart broke when you said His name—and you weren’t talking to Him.

At that moment, He knew that creation would cause his crucifixion.

He looked across the years and saw the cross.  He felt the tearing of the flesh as the whip tore into his back.  He heard his own groans as he lifted the cross to his shoulders.  He jerked when the nail ripped apart his wrist.  He looked into the eyes of the one holding the hammer—and saw you!

“Let us make __________________________.”  You fill in the blank.  Write your name there.  He knew what you would do to him, that one day you would hold the hammer; one day you would drive the nail.  In total submission to the Father, He said, “Yes.”

Elohim.  Amazingly consistent.  Faithful One.  He is the Creator God, the Coming Christ, and the Comforting Spirit.  Jesus now sits at the right hand of God.  He proclaimed with his death, “It is finished!”  Never again will he face the cry of the crowd.  Never again will he flinch as the hair is pulled from his face. Never again will he cry from a cross in desperate loneliness.  The work has been done—the awesome task completed.

He didn’t leave you comfortless, though.  You don’t fight this battle alone.  No!  The Holy Spirit, that third person of the Trinity, leads the way.  He goes before you, is behind you, and lives within you.  Jesus Himself said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.”  (John 14:16-17, NAS)

When you struggle with the meaning of your life, he is Elohim, the God who created you. And if he can create, he can also re-create. He can make you, and creation, all over again. This version of this song is brand new…released yesterday. God made the first garden and the people in it. And He can turn today’s grave into a garden.

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