If I told you we live in a broken and fallen world—one that is far from perfect—I’m pretty confident you would agree with me. Am I right?
We don’t have to travel very far down this road we call life before we get to experience firsthand the broken nature of the world that we live in.
Death. Disease. Decay. Destruction. Devastation. Disorder. Defeat.
I’m sure I could come up with more words that start with the letter ‘D’ to continue my point, but I think you get the picture.
The things I just listed are some of the realities we’ve all likely had to face at some point in our lives.
The death of loved ones.
Fighting diseases that wreak havoc on our bodies.
Recovering from the destruction caused by natural disasters.
The damage left in our hearts by broken relationships. (Oh look, another ‘D’ word!)
If you’ve ever wondered why this world is so broken or why we have to endure all of these uncomfortable and painful circumstances, all you have to do to find the answer to these questions is go back to the very beginning, where life on earth began.
In the first 2 chapters of Genesis, we can read about the history of creation and how God made the earth and everything in it—including the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:31, it says that “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good” (NKJV).
Not only was the world God had created very good, but it was perfect.
No sin. No death. No separation between God and humankind. No relationship issues between the first husband and wife. Nothing to worry about and nothing to fear.
Life was good—perfect, in fact.
It wasn’t until sin entered the picture in Genesis chapter 3 that we began to see this perfect world that God had created start to crumble and fall.
In Genesis 3:1-6, we can read where Satan, disguised as a serpent, deceived Eve. Eve then persuaded her husband, Adam, to join her and the serpent on their whole “disobeying God” endeavor, and just like that—perfection on this earth would never be experienced again. That is until Jesus Christ returns and God makes this broken and fallen world brand new again.
Until then, every single person who is or has already been born into this world will have to wait until they see Jesus face to face in order to get a taste of true perfection—assuming they have accepted Christ as Savior, of course.
Nothing in our lives on earth will ever be perfect.
Nothing we experience here will ever be exactly the way God intended it to be.
Our bodies will never be perfect.
Our relationships will never be perfect.
Even nature and the natural world will lack true perfection.
And because of this unfortunate fact, none of us are immune to the effects and imperfections that this fallen world bestows upon those of us who traverse it—not even Jesus.
Now, before I send anyone into a spiritual tizzy, what I mean by that is that even though Jesus was perfect, spiritually-speaking, and He never sinned, it doesn’t mean that He was immune to the effects of living in a fallen world.
He was 100% God and yet, still 100% human, as well—which means that He got to experience firsthand what it was like to live on earth during its fallen state.
As Hebrews 4:14-15 tells us, Jesus is our High Priest. And having lived down here and been tempted in every way, Himself, yet without sin, He’s able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
He knows what it feels like to be too hot and too cold. He knows what it feels like to be hungry and to be thirsty. He knows what it feels like to experience bad weather and the death of loved ones. He knows what it feels like to be sunburnt and exhausted from walking long distances and ministering to lots of people. He knows what it feels like not to be able to sleep because the burden He was carrying for those He loves was almost too much to bear.
I believe this fallen world had just as much of an impact on Jesus’ physical appearance as it did His heart – much like it does ours.
The reason I believe this is because after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-16, it says in verses 14-15 that she didn’t recognize Jesus when she saw Him. She assumed He was a gardener.
I don’t know about you, but if I had spent quite a bit of time with someone for 3 years straight, I think I’d be able to recognize their face when I saw them—wouldn’t you?
But because Jesus was transformed into this unrecognizable, post-resurrection form, we can assume that His physical features must have been different. And since His body was now perfect, we can only assume that His body was imperfect before.
There were no more blemishes. No more wrinkles from the stress of life on this earth. No more dark spots or damaged skin from years of being exposed to harmful UV rays. No more imperfections in His smile or deformities in His body.
He was the perfected Christ—living in His resurrected body, just the way His Father had created Him (with the addition of the scars He chose to keep on His hands and side, of course).
If we belong to Christ, we’ve been promised a new body when we die, just like Jesus (Philippians 3:21). If we belong to Christ, we’ve been promised a new heaven and a new earth—one that is perfect (Revelation 21:1). If we belong to Christ, God has promised to make all things new for us – to make all things perfect for us once again!
No more death. No more tears. No more sorrow. No more pain. (Revelation 21:4)
Friend, I don’t know about you, but with every passing day, this imperfect world seems to keep getting harder and harder to endure. With every passing day, we’re constantly being bombarded with reminders about how imperfect our lives really are.
Through social media. Through movies and magazines. By comparing ourselves to those around us, who seem to lead perfect lives.
Or how about when we take a look in the mirror and we no longer see a vibrant and youthful face staring back at us—but rather, a face that has been worn down by the stresses of this life?
Or maybe we’re reminded of how imperfect life on earth is when our own little world comes crashing down because of a sudden illness, the betrayal of a spouse, a job loss, the death of a loved one – or maybe losing everything we own due to circumstances that are beyond our control.
When we experience these kinds of hardships, it’s easy to look around and wonder why other people have it so much better than we do – or to wonder why other people’s lives are so perfect.
Perfect family. Perfect hair. Perfect complexion. Perfect job. Perfect house. Perfect body. Perfect health.
But the thing we have to remember is that no matter how perfect someone else’s life may seem; until we see Jesus face-to-face and God has made all things new, we’re all merely grasping for perfection here on this earth.
We crave it at the core of our being—and that’s because perfection is what God had in store for us all along. We’re the ones who messed it all up by choosing sin!
But God—don’t you just love those words—our God set into motion His plan for Redemption immediately following the fall (Genesis 3:15). He made plans to send Jesus, His One and only Son, down to this broken and fallen world so that He could take the penalty for our sin onto Himself and give us the chance to experience true perfection once and for all.
If you find yourself discouraged today, due to the effects of living in this broken and fallen world, don’t lose heart, my friend. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and remember what awaits those who run their race down here well.
Life can be so hard sometimes. And life can be oh so imperfect.
But we can’t allow the imperfections we all have to endure here to keep us from living a life full of joy and in full anticipation for what’s to come—which just so happens to be true perfection!
Featured Image by Jazmin Quaynor