The Wonder of Change
Will wonders never cease? No need to place your deceased loved ones on the mantel in a ceramic vase. European ingenuity found a way to convert the ashes of a deceased loved-one into a sparkling new reality. Now, with the application of high pressure machines, technology can transform ashes of a person into a twinkling diamond.
The process is expensive. It involves removing carbon from the ashes of the deceased followed by heating the carbon until it changes to graphite. According to the source article:
The graphite is heated to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and subjected to as many as 870,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The result of this process, which mimics a process deep in the Earth, is a diamond that ranges from white to dark blue in color. The color variation depends on the amount of the element boron in the ashes. The diamond is cut and polished, and many opt to have it set in a ring or another piece of jewelry to keep their deceased loved ones close.While this is becoming a popular burial option, Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, "...there is no new thing under the sun." In fact, some scientists suggest our sun will slowly devolve into a white dwarf after using up its nuclear fuel...and then after that, downsize its mass into a diamond weighing trillions of tons.
Research supporting this likelihood comes from Metcalfe and Kannaan who claim the "white dwarf pulsations" they researched suggests such likelihood. They go on to report:
By measuring those pulsations, we were able to study the hidden interior of the white dwarf, just like seismograph measurements of earthquakes allow geologists to study the interior of the Earth. We figured out that the carbon interior of this white dwarf has solidified to form the galaxy's largest diamond.The pressure necessary to compress graphite atoms into a crystalline structure is unimaginable, and herein the transforming power that changes a deceased loved-one into a diamond, literally.
But, here's the thing. There is another transformation that is even more amazing, and touches the heart of every believer. This transformation is the unrelenting pressure that shapes and forms the soul in ways never thought possible. The apostle Paul talks about this pressure when he wrote, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
The pressure placed on believers comes in many forms. One form is rejection from family and friends mocking our faith. Of course, others are more gracious and quietly say nothing while still others walk out of our life forever, which is biblical (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).
Whether struggling with rejection (Matthew 10:22), walking the narrow path (Matthew 7:13), or meditating on a difficult Bible verse (Philippians 2:12), these many and diverse forms of struggle make us occasionally feel like we are under a good deal of pressure. While it may often seem that way, there is another viewpoint about our difficult walk worth sharing.
From God's perspective, completing the work that would make our salvation possible was not easy. It was difficult. It was costly. It was planned over thousands of years and prophesized throughout the Old Testament. A few verses talking about this plan are found in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 5:2; and Zechariah 9:9.
The plan of redemption and its successful completion were gut-wrenching because the souls of many were in the balance. Near the end of Jesus' ministry he prayed, "Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me" (Matthew 26:39). The pressure on Jesus was so unimaginably intense he sweat droplets of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44), which means oil press.
Jesus knew his path would be difficult. He knew he would endure the press of God's wrath on sin, and dreaded the thoughts leading to that moment (John 3:18, John 5:24). On the cross Jesus tasted the pressing rejection of the Father so that we would never know the sting. No person can imagine the awfulness of his suffering and the immense pressure of judgment when the Savior cried out, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?)" (Psalms 22:1-2; Matthew 24:46-47).
But, when the judgment of God's wrath lifted, there in the center of the press was (figuratively speaking) a gift in the form of an uncut diamond, a symbol of all that is pure and good and holy (Colossians 1:22). I like this image and see the diamond as a depiction of a believer's inward transformation from ungodliness to godliness (1 Peter 1:23).
Transformation is the power of God at work in you and me. And though our human remains may never find rest in a ceramic vase or feel the press from high-tonnage machines, God, nevertheless, pressed us into new life. Yes, we were changed* inwardly in an instant and now changing outwardly day-by-day (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Will wonders never cease?
*While the inward transformation is known as justification and is instantaneous (when born again), the outward transformation will lasts a lifetime and is known as sanctification. Whereas justification is akin to an uncut diamond in the rough, sanctification is likened to a jeweler who carefully cuts the diamond to refract light…but in our case to refract light from the Son of God.
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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