Amidst cheers and tears of joy from NASA scientists, the robotic rover, Spirit, rolled off its platform and onto the surface of Mars this past week. Scientists planned for it to remain in one spot for three or four days as it began preliminary analysis on the soil and pebbles on the planet’s surface. Many hope that evidence will be discovered to prove that there was at one time an ocean on Mars. Water, they say, may well point to some form of Martian life in the past.
The search for life outside this planet – it fascinates me as much as anybody else. At the same time, I find it interesting to see the widespread obsession with space. Why are humans so interested in exploring the universe in search of life? I think the answer to that question rests on a spiritual foundation.
When Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, life as man knew it vanished. Until he sinned, man had possessed zoe. The word is the one Jesus used in John 10:10 when He said that He came to give an abundant “life.” It is a kind of life that is filled with adventure, purpose, fulfillment and an overall sense of well being.
At the fall of man, the zoe kind of life vanished from the earth. From that point forward, mankind was only left with bios, as in “biology.” Man traded an enthralling, blessed life for empty, biological life. Since that day, he has been searching to find what he lost.
We desperately want to find life outside ourselves. In fact, we are driven by that desire. Intuitively we know that there must be more to life than to simply breathe for eighty years and then stop. Something in us understands that there has to be some kind of life bigger than ourselves. We do indeed sense a faint cry from another world, calling us to a life unlike any we could ever know within the confines of pale human experience. We sense that there must be something supernatural out there somewhere. And so the search continues . . .
I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m not against the space program. I’m simply pointing out the desperate desire men have to find life. Christians are in a good place when it comes to evangelism because we understand that what was forfeited in the garden of Eden can be found in Jesus Christ. He is the life for which men seek.