The recent crash of Virgin Galactic “SpaceShipTwo” which lead to the death of the co-pilot and serious injury to the pilot was a sobering reminder of the perils of man’s attempt at space travel. In fact, one of our Board members had already made arrangements to be a passenger on one of its early flights. Now it appears his trip will likely be put on hold.
Yet, these events, tragic as they might be, also demonstrate man’s curiosity about the seemingly limitless physical universe. We know that sophisticated plans are already in place to put men on the surface of Mars. But what are our chances of success . . . especially in terms of conquering intergalactic space?
My response is that it has already happened! Let me explain. The Bible provides us with a written record of an individual from a place outside the earth—some might consider him an alien—being transformed into human form in order to experience our kind of life. Philippians 2:5-8 (paraphrased) tells us that Jesus, having the very nature of God, chose to “empty himself of divinity” to become one of us so that He might experience death on our behalf.
But the story doesn’t end there. The Bible tells us that after completing His assignment, Jesus returned to His original home—somewhere beyond the earth. Acts Chapter 1 describes His departure. We read that in plain sight of the disciples, Jesus “was taken up . . . and a cloud took Him out of their sight.” Where did He go? Describing a time in the future, the book of Revelation offers some answers:
Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True . . . He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:11-13).
John 1:1 identifies the Word of God as none other than Christ Himself. Speaking of Jesus, Hebrews 1:2 adds that “In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.”
Then what about us? The Bible reveals that our destiny as Christ-followers is to become like Him. This means that some day our powers will be greatly increased and will perhaps include access to other parts of the universe. However, as I teach in my Life Essentials Study Bible, Principle #35 in the book of Revelation, this mind-boggling hope comes with personal responsibility. The principle reads: “Though a time will come when God will make everything new, as believers we are already new creations in Christ and we are to become more and more like Him as we prepare to live in our eternal home.” In the commentary section, I expand on this principle:
In essence, it is not God’s will that we wait for the day when He makes everything new to experience transformation. The moment we become Christians, we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, preparing ourselves personally and corporately to be His perfect bride.