PONCE DE LEÓN CAME TO “La Florida” in 1513 on a search for the fountain of youth. Somewhere between the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean was supposed to be this magical oasis where, once you partook of it, you would never age. Man has been on a search for the secret to anti-aging ever since. We’ve created potions and formulas to capture it, done behavior-altering studies, recommending everything from physical training and alternative food choices to extreme self-denial, and yet despite all our medical knowledge and scientific advancement, age happens, and the human body will die.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He did so for one reason, to place man and woman, made in His image on it. He wanted them to have the very best of what He could create from landscapes to ecosystems to the plant and animal life that exists on it. So not until day 6, when everything else was done, the sun, moon and stars were told where to be and when to rise, when the tides were in place and the ocean was forbidden to cross over the land, did He breathe life into man.
Man, made in His image after His likeness. Physically, we are like God. All that the human body does is in God’s image. Mentally, we are like God. The bounds of human creativity are beyond what we can fully comprehend. There are artists, musicians, craftsman that do things which we cannot fathom. Spiritually, we are like God. We were commanded to “Increase and multiply and fill the earth, AND MAKE IT YOURS; TAKE COMMAND of the fishes in the sea, and all that flies through the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” (Genesis 1:verse Knox) The authority given to man over the forces of the earth are like God.
Then sin happened, and sin created death, and death began to rob man of all the strength and vitality that were God’s. Slowly, the mind weakened, knowledge faded, introduced to that which was not like God. Gone was the revelation of who He is, of what He would do for us, replaced by idols of gold and silver. Money. People. Relationships. And as life modernized, medicines, behaviors. The enemy had come to steal, kill, and destroy.
But what he thought he’d won, the victory he thought he’d obtained, the slow progression of men toward greater and greater sin, toward death and the grave, did not factor in the God who’d created man in the first place. Because God who’d made man, who’d designed the human body, the way the hair grows, the way the legs move, the way a woman conceives, who’d designed the mind to hold an infinite amount of knowledge so that this one can paint in such detail, and that one can memorize entire reams of information, who’d made man to be spirit, like He is Spirit, to worship and commune with Him, was not defeated by the enemy.
We have this image of God as old and gray and wrinkled. He is Moses on film, holding the Ten Commandments. The God who’d created man cannot die. He is youth and energy. He is strength and vitality. He is marriage between a man and a woman. He is the laughter of children. He is mankind at their finest. He is Adam in the garden. He is the beauty that was Eve. He is the Source of Life itself. The instant death entered the earth, God set about to rebirth in His creation a new, living image of Himself. What He’d designed on day 6, He became through His Son, Jesus Christ, and with His sacrifice made available to all His everlasting, abundant life.
The enemy’s destruction of mankind through sin and death was nailed to a cross, and the fountain of youth that is Almighty God rose from the dead. Jesus willingly laid down His life so that the spirits of men could be reborn. In Genesis, we have the birth of mankind. In the gospels, we have their rebirth. Not because He could, although He can do the impossible, but because His love was so great, and no price was too high to breathe life into dead hearts and return man to intimate communion with Him. Day and night, walking with God in the cool of the garden, surrounded by the glory of the Lord, all of creation at their command.
"Jesus said, 'You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.'" (John 3:5-6 Message)
Suzanne D. Williams, Author