“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” – Romans 8:22-23 (NASB)
There’s an interesting word in today’s selected verses and it’s good for us to understand its meaning as intended by the Apostle Paul writing this letter under the guidance and inspiration of the Spirit of God. The word ‘For’ in verse 22 introduces what we might call “Three Groanings.” These of creation (v.22), of ourselves (v.23), and of God’s Spirit (v.26). We are discussing our ‘future glory’ and not ours only but that of all creation. First Paul compares the earnest longing and eager forward looking of creation to the groaning of a woman who is in the process of giving birth to a child. It is important to recognize that such groaning, which indicates suffering and pain also promises hope. Although possessing a promise of the first fruits of the Spirit we still are looking forward and even reaching out for the fulfillment of even more precious promises. Let’s look at it this way, Since we already have the Spirit abiding in us with all He has promised and provides, we are convinced that much more, is promised and in store for us. So, we therefore yearn eagerly to receive our adoption and redemption at His coming.
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks” – Luke 12:35-36 (ESV)
The boss is coming home! The owner of the estate is returning from his wedding and honeymoon with his new bride. It may be at any time so we need to be ready, dressed and with everything prepared just so. It is no time to be surprised. The owners will come at any moment but it is not specified by exact time. Certainly we want to be ready and not found doing other things in the meantime. Yes, other things that are happening now might seem more enjoyable than waiting for the return of the boss. It is in verse 37 that we have our promise. The importance here is to be in readiness at all times for Christ’s return. When He comes he will take the servant’s role and wait on them. This remarkable parable pictures Christ, at His return, ministering as a servant to believers. The parable describes a scene in which servants were waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet with his bride. They were to remain constantly vigilant so that the master would be able to come into the house whenever he might arrive at home.
“Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:28 (ESV)
It’s not over. One day it will be over but in the meantime, we wait with eager expectation. This is what the disciples did not understand at first. Even after Christ rose from the tomb and before He appeared to them , they were closeted in a locked room in fear for their lives. But Christ did appear to his disciples and many others over the next 40 days after His resurrection. On the Mount called Olivet, Jesus promised them that He would send God the Holy Spirit to dwell in them. And, to remind them of all He had taught them. He charged them with their mission to spread the news to all people. Jesus had come from heaven to earth taking the form of a human and lived a perfect life and when He died, our sins, laid on Him, caused God to forsake His Son for a time. Jesus was despised, rejected, pierced, crushed, and killed. We remember, however, that all this was according to God’s plan for us so that we can have eternal life. He left but He is going to come back a second time. That is when it will be over.