My professor surprised our class one day when he said, “Jesus died for cows.” He didn’t mean we should evangelize cattle. But, he explained, since cows are part of the creation “subjected to God’s curse” (Romans 8:20) as a result of human sin, cows belong to the world that “has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). That means cows are part of the “everything” God is bringing “under the authority of Christ,” having “reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Colossians 1:20).

Humans were placed in creation as God’s image bearers, created to exercise authority over cows—and the entire world—on His behalf (Genesis 1:27, 2:15). That means that when human beings rebelled against God, we took the entire creation down with us. Even cows now suffer because of our sin.

Can you see the signs of a “groaning” creation? The earth wasn’t meant to suffer from destructive quakes, floods, and tornadoes. Gardens weren’t meant to be besieged by briars, blight, and blossom-end rot.

I love fruits and vegetables, but every pineapple and tomato I’ve ever eaten has come from cursed soil. Imagine the sweetness of oranges and mangoes when Jesus returns and restores all things! (Acts 3:21). How vibrant will the colors be! How lush will be the plants that grow in a renewed and restored creation!

Everything that sin has wrecked, Jesus will restore. The Christmas hymn says it well. Jesus will “come and make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.” Far as the curse is found? Yes, “Far as the curse is found.” Joy to the world!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 27:1-26