I gather from Scripture that Jesus’ death caused a monumental jump in our human evolution. It was so great a leap, and so very sudden too, that most of the world missed the completely new species of human that emerged from it.
But the contrast between the new species of human and the old species of human has been apparent ever since. The contrast is easy to recognize too, because the old and new humans are exact opposites.
The old version of humanity, for instance, is visibly driven by an engine that, in scriptural terms, is “dead to God, and alive to sin.” The new version of humanity is the total opposite: it’s “dead to sin, and alive to God.” So we now have two species of humans living side by side on this planet with this clear and obvious demarcation separating them.
Being “dead to God,” for instance, is visibly obvious in one species of human, because there is not the slightest flicker of interest in these humans in what God revealed about himself and his plan in the Old Testament, or what God created humans for. That’s not meant to be a condemnation; it’s just a simple observation. It means, though, that the God of the Bible has no influence over their lives whatsoever. They are “dead” to him, and he is dead to them.
What excites this version of humanity instead is the free rein and expression of one’s own desires and feelings. It began, as illustrated so colourfully in the story of Adam and Eve, with a choice God offered between two trees, one of which was luscious but deadly, and if eaten off would make humans “alive to sin.”
And this “coming alive to sin” quickly became apparent too, as both Adam and Eve put self before God and their carefree lives were suddenly filled with guilt, shame, blaming, and wanting to hide from God, and from then on all humanity would be very much “alive to sin” too. All human societies and cultures have experienced a nasty, combative style of living that’s created bullies and victims in every sphere of human endeavour. But would it make us humans want to reject our selfish ways? Unfortunately not.
And we’re still living in a world deeply influenced by these humans who are “dead to God and alive to sin,” that still believe in putting self before God, despite the historically obvious hazards to one’s mental health and the health of the planet. Worse still, this old species of human has no idea how to reverse or solve its self-destructive ways. So the world careens from one crisis to another, each threatening ever more irreparable and unsolvable damage.
But also, historically, there’s been evidence of a new version of humanity driven by a different engine, that began with Jesus, who demonstrated very successfully a life that was “dead to sin and alive to God.” And what made that such a monumental leap in our human evolution was his promise to make such a life possible for humans ever since.
Fifty days after he died his promise came true too, when the engine that powered him was installed in the lives of five thousand people, who visibly and immediately began to display what a life of being “dead to sin and alive to God” was like. As the years progressed a whole list of what they displayed could easily be identified as well, with things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
And instead of being engrossed with themselves and their own desires and self-image, their minds naturally and easily seek what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable – and with amazing results. They are not anxious about anything, and they have peace and contentment even in impossible situations and circumstances. And God is so real to them too, like a trusted friend.
One can only wonder, then, what the world could be like if this new species of human takes over. Perhaps it will one day, and then we’ll know. In the meantime, what a discovery it is when finding such people, and what a delight it is to know them, because they are just what this world so desperately needs right now.