Creation was Subjected to Frustration—Romans 8:20
"For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope..." (Romans 8:20)
Unlike Adam, creation didn't have a choice when it was brought into the bondage of the kingdom of darkness. That is because creation and all that was in it was given to Adam in the garden. In Genesis, God told Adam, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And it was so" ( Genesis 1:28-30 ). God created everything, but he gave authority for everything that he created to Adam. It was passed from God to Adam and Adam was the representative before God for mankind, the animals, the earth and all of creation.
Now when the serpent deceived Eve in the garden and she coerces Adam to partake, Adam was the one responsible before God not Eve. Because Adam was the one given authority for everything created with instructions by God. He disobeyed a direct command by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Because of it, Adam's authority and everything he ruled over legally passed over to Satan and the dominion of darkness. Since God gave it to Adam, he couldn't rightfully take it back from Satan when Adam gave it to him. Because of this transgression, he plunged mankind into sin and this became our new nature. Creation was also part of that transaction. Our world, created to be a paradise, experienced decay and death after the fall as well. Paul said in today's verse, that "creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope..." ( Romans 8:20 ). The hope it is referring to comes in the next verse, "that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God" ( Romans 8:21 ).Creation is waiting expectantly to be liberated when the children of God are revealed.
When all of this happened in the garden, God provided a way out for all of mankind and all of creation. Even as he deal with the situation at hand, he told the serpent, there is one coming who will crush your head ( Genesis 3:15 ). He knew from the very beginning that if he was going to go through with his plan to create a mankind that we would screw it up. So before he even started to do what he wanted to do, he had the plan in place. Jesus would be the One who would crush Satan's head. I Peter 1 tells us that Jesus was the lamb slain chosen before the foundation of the world ( I Peter 1:19-20 ). With the plan in place, with the sacrifice chosen, with the way to undo what would eventually happen, God went ahead and created everything he wanted out of his desire for a family.
Now Jesus came in human form, a hostage to Satan, under his rule, dominion and authority. Since Adam gave over mankind and creation to this kingdom in the garden, God had to take it back legally and rightfully. He did this by sending Jesus in the disguise of sinful man to fulfill the entire law. The law outline how to break free of the curse yet we were powerless to do it because of the sin nature that we were in bondage to. So when Jesus did it, he earned eternal life free from bondage of death which was part of the curse, stemming from the fall in the garden. In other words, by defeating death, he took back all authority, rule and power that Satan had got from Adam. He completely defeated and disarmed him on the cross. "having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" ( Colossians 2:15 ). So through Jesus living a perfect life, fulfilling the law, being our sin offering before God, dying for us and being raised to life, he took back all the authority that was stolen by Satan in the garden.
After he defeated them he did an amazing thing, II Corinthians 5 says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" ( II Corinthians 5:21 ). He took his right standing with God and offered it to us free of charge. He took our sin, our shame and our weakness and traded it for his righteousness, his forgiveness and his love. He justified us before God, which literally means that he took us back to the state that mankind was in before the fall, as if there had never been that transgression in the first place. He did what he originally intended to do in the garden, that was to create a family. He chose us and through faith in Jesus, we choose him. Through this union we become children of God and he sends his Spirit into our hearts to testify to this very fact ( Romans 8:16 ). This is what creation is waiting for, because it knows that it's redemption is drawing neigh.
The amazing thing about all of this, after everything he went through, after getting all authority back under his control, Jesus then gave the authority back to His church. We are join heirs with Christ which means that everything he has, he shares with us. He is the head, but we are his body. We are his ambassadors on this earth to do the amazing things which he has called us to do. Paul said in Ephesians that he wants us to understand "... his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way" ( Ephesians 1:19-23 ).
We are now called into a wonderful partnership with Christ. We have been given His authority on this earth to operate as he operated on this earth. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven he commissioned us, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well" ( Mark 16:15-18 ). He did this by saying in Matthew, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." ( Matthew 28:18-19 ). In all of these things we operate as his dear children whom he loves. Jesus undid everything that happened in the garden and we reap the benefits of it. Like creation we are waiting for our final redemption, knowing that time is short, but also knowing that while we are here we have a job to do.
Today I am so blessed to join with creation in hope that God's children will continue to be revealed upon this earth. Today, I pray that you know who you are in Christ Jesus and what he has provided for you so that you will go and make disciples for Jesus, all stemming from his love and authority. Amen!