Elohim. It’s a Hebrew word, and it’s all over the book of Genesis, especially chapter one. It’s there we find Elohim creating the universe, speaking it into existence. It’s by the power of Elohim’s word that the world came into being, that something came from nothing.
We find Elohim’s word again in scripture, much later, when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” But the world into which He came was not the Garden of Eden of Genesis, bursting with new life and shalom, where man and woman enjoyed peace with God, with each other, and with the earth, a place that knew nothing of death. No, the world into which He came was far different, full of fear, blame, and endless hostilities. Shame, secrecy, and separation. Separation from God, from each other, and from an earth from which life must scratch out an existence. Life ever chased by death. It was into this world Elohim came, becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
And they called His name Jesus.
Imagine, the Creator of all subjecting Himself to flesh, to a body, to limitation, to temptation, to deprivation. To hunger and thirst and fatigue. To the pride and stupidity of a humanity intent on destroying itself and its home. To shame, separation, and even death. Why? Why would He put Himself through that? Why would the Creator follow the trail of tears we've made, knowing the road would end in excruciating suffering at the hands of His very own creation?
There are so many ways to answer that question. It’s been the source of a great many musings and ponderings of people far wiser than me. But as I consider the question afresh, I’m wondering if perhaps it was simply… to create.
What if the Creator became creation in order to create again? Begin again? To take what He created good in the first place, but was then wrecked and ruined by sin, and restore it to shalom? And in doing so He would make it new. And with that in mind, He would focus His effort on the crown jewel of His creation, the only part into which He breathed His own breath. The only part He fashioned into His image, with intelligence, emotion, imagination, and an impulse, however deep-seated, however seemingly lost in the fall, to do good.
The Creator became creation, endured creation, for the very purpose of re-creating, restoring, renewing, re-working, re-making what was lost when the part of creation nearest and dearest to His heart went its own disastrous way.
And this time, He desired not to make something out of nothing, but to make beautiful the broken, honorable the one full of shame. To build peace on an earth that has long known only war, and from within the rubble, to heal shattered, wounded souls. Through the power of the cross and resurrection, He creates again, making all things new, breathing the breath of life afresh, washing clean what the old guard has left sullied and soiled, and filling our aching, empty hearts with hope.
“Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.”
– Colossians 1:15-16
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