According to legend, the venerable King Arthur and his valiant knights were intent on finding the Holy Grail, a cup supposedly imbued with magical properties. After touching the lips of the Savior at the Last Supper and catching His blood at the crucifixion, it was rumored that the cup would grant eternal youth to those who were worthy. Courageously, many noble knights took up the quest to retrieve the cup. One after another, they fell. While it may be impossible for us to ascertain whether anyone ever found this “Holy Grail,” one thing is certain: the quest for immortality did not begin, or end, with the king of Camelot. Throughout the ages, heroes from every culture have sought similar talismans; from the Fountain of Youth to magical rings, invincible swords, enchanted medallions, and the list goes on. . .
CREATED FOR MORE?
What is it that causes so many to yearn for immortality? Is it the fear of dying? The uncertainty of eternity? Or is it that, deep down, we know we were created for something more?
“Our bodies were designed to live forever in the original creation.” —Dr. David Menton, (Associate Professor Emeritus of Anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine)
Since the theatrical release of Genesis: Paradise Lost in November of last year, our team at Creation Today has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from audiences around the world. Recounting favorite aspects of the movie, many of you have expressed wonder and surprise at the comment from Dr. David Menton regarding the human body being designed to live forever. Yet the Scripture plainly teaches that death came after man sinned, so the original creation did not include death. When God saw everything that He had made and declared it “very good,” mankind was not sitting on top of millions of years of death, decay, and disease. They were strolling through Paradise, surrounded by a lush and immaculate world, intimately conversing with their Creator daily. There was no pain, no sickness, no sadness, and no death. All manner of animals coexisted with humans in perfect harmony. Peace was paramount in that place of bliss. Can you even imagine it?
And God saw everything that He had made,
and, behold, it was very good. —Genesis 1:31
Obviously, something went wrong, because the world we observe today is a far cry from the paradise we glimpse in the book of Genesis. Originally created without sin and given the ability to live forever, Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden and given only one rule: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” —Genesis 2:17
You know what happened next. The serpent deceived the woman. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Sin entered the world, and paradise was lost with a single bite of forbidden fruit. Some would argue that God did not make good on His threats. Instead of instantly perishing on the spot, Adam lived to the ripe old age of 930! Yet what kind of life was it? Instead of peace and indescribable beauty, mankind was now faced with suffering, toil, pain, disease, sorrow, and death. Then, as representatives for the human race, Adam and Eve have passed down the sin nature to their offspring for 6,000 years.
Let us, then, have it fixed down in our minds that the sinfulness of man does not begin from without, but from within. It is not the result of bad training in early years. It is not picked up from bad companions and bad examples, as some weak Christians are too fond of saying. No! It is a family disease, which we all inherit from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and with which we are born. —J.C. Ryle
Not only were we born into a sin-cursed world (Psalm 51:5), but each one of us personally chooses to sin (1 John 1:8). Consequentially, our sin separates us from a holy God and carries with it a just and righteous penalty—death. (Romans 3:23).
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ.” —Ephesians 2:4-5
Just as Adam represented humanity at the time of the original sin, even so Jesus represents humanity in the penalty for sin. By becoming a man, living a perfect life, and dying a sinless death, Jesus Christ laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:15) and paid the debt that we deserve. But the story doesn’t end there. On the third day, He rose; triumphant over sin, death, and the grave! Through Him, we experience new life here (2 Corinthians 5:17) and eternal life hereafter (Romans 6:23).
SEARCHING FOR IMMORTALITY
Because we were originally created to live forever, humanity has been on a quest for eternal life since we left the Garden of Eden. But, eternal life in a sin-cursed world would be punishment, not paradise. We would still grow old. Enduring countless miseries and sorrows we would find no relief from the toil, the pain, and the grief that an evil-filled world brings.
We may conclude that God’s Word, not science, has the complete solution to the problem of aging and death. The solution has ‘been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’ (1 Timothy 1:10)” –David Menton
Are you still looking for the Holy Grail? It is not hidden in an obscure cave somewhere over in Europe or Palestine. It is a free gift, offered to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. —Ephesians 2:8-9