by Ernest O’Neill
The mysteries of DNA are being unravelled daily by researchers. What began as a seemingly academic attempt to diagram the structure of the DNA molecule is leading to ways of identifying not only murderers who have ended others’ lives but also ancestors who have begun others’ lives. So, we are now able to trace the descendants of the 5,000-year-old man found in the Italian Alps and can see some startling indications about the ancestors of the 9,000-year-old man found in Nevada. It is easier and easier to see that each of us contains some of the genes of the first man and woman that ever lived; indeed, we ourselves were actually contained in them. Perhaps science will eventually be able to demonstrate even this!
However, there is clear — and startling information about this very event from writings in the first century of our modern era. About the middle of that century these words were written about Jesus whose life and triumph over death are corroborated by more reliable manuscripts and eye-witnesses than any other figure of ancient times. Paul wrote: “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created — all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Jesus was not only the uniquely begotten Son of the Creator of the universe, but he was also the first-born of all creation — the one in whom all of us originated! He was the first and great human being from whom all of us came.
Writing to the Ephesians, Paul states: “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” This means that you were actually created in Jesus, God’s unique Son; the flashes of lightheartedness and the moments of tenderness that you have felt come from his genes. He is your real original father — it is from him that you derive your humanity. Because he lives, you live also! Although he brought you into this world via your father and mother, you originated in him and it is his life that keeps your heart beating. Any good that you have comes from his heart and his nature. This is why so many of us human beings often feel a kinship to one another; it’s the reason we can understand and sympathize. We come from one common father, who himself is part of God.
Why Are You Here?
But this fact does not only affect who you are; it affects what you do here on earth. The gist of this is in the words quoted above “created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The Creator not only made us in his son, but he created us in him for a purpose –“for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We don’t need to do them — they have been prepared beforehand — we just need to “walk” in them.
Christ himself assured his disciples “I have overcome the world” and he demonstrated his power over the natural world by stopping a storm on a lake and by healing sick bodies and changing water into wine. We human beings don’t really change things or create things; we simply move things around and rearrange them. It is Christ who has changed the world and subdued its disorder in eternity before the natural world ever appeared in time and space. We have been made in him so that these changes could be manifested as we go through the motions of doing them — of “walking in them.”
Thus one of the early doctors said that he simply sews the skin together, but God makes it grow together. Einstein stumbled into enough hypotheses to say that “all ideas come from God.” We ourselves look at our financial lives and know that we cannot control the hundreds of contingent events that need to occur in order that we will remain solvent. In business we put out the advertisements, we open the shop doors, but we are repeatedly taken off guard by the results that follow. Even after prolonged postmortems we are unable to put our finger on exactly what we did right and what we did wrong. The careers that fill the greater part of our lives often failed to appear even on the top five or ten preferences we had at college. So, wherever we look, we see evidence of another hand in our lives besides our own; we feel that Woody Allen had a point when he said “the most important thing in life is just to turn up.”
The fact is that Jesus Christ has completed the work of subduing the world in eternity and you and I are here to reveal that work as we “do” our work. This means that your daily work is much more than simply a way to “eat your bread in the sweat of your face.”