The average female octopus may live six months to a year. After a male fertilizes her, she lays one large batch of eggs — maybe 200,000 or more — then she dies. That’s sad, but it’s also amazing that she reproduces so many new individuals, each one a tiny miracle of living potential, with a brain and a heart and eight searching tentacles. However, the babies are totally vulnerable — and very tasty. One by one they’re picked off by fish and other sea predators. Studies show that the survival rate is about 1 %. What a waste!
Let’s move from this tiny creature on an obscure planet in one galaxy of an immense universe. Our sun is a relatively small star. How many stars are there in the sky? On a perfectly clear night, a sharp-sighted individual may be able to see about 5,000 at most. But astronomers have calculated from telescopic observation and mathematical extrapolation that the number of stars in the entire universe is something like 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1024). For more than two centuries, nerdy scientists and sci-fi enthusiasts have been fascinated about the possibility of life, even intelligent life, on planets that are orbiting around some of these stars. Even beyond that interesting question, just think of how much energy is being generated and dispersed throughout the entire universe by the chemical and nuclear reactions that produce the light and heat emanating from all these stars. What a waste!
We worship the God of the Universe. Is he the God of Waste?
The answer is in the Resurrection! Let me explain from a writing of the Apostle Paul in our Bible:
20In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. . . . 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 20-26, 28)
Notice the phrase in verse 20, “the first fruits of those who have died.” Paul is primarily speaking of our confidence as believers that Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead is just the beginning, the first fruits, and that our personal resurrection is promised as part of the continuing redemption he came to bring to people who have been spiritually dead. But there are clear indications that Christ’s victory goes far beyond the salvation of humans to the restoration, renewal, resurrection of all the things in creation that have been affected by the shadow of death. With the phase “then comes the end,” Paul looks beyond Christ’s Resurrection and ours to the time when this present reality will run its course and the Kingdom of God will be fully established (verse 24). This will involve the destruction of every negative “ruler, authority and power ” and, finally, of death itself (verses 24-25). The beginning of this process is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the end result is a totally harmonious creation in which God is “all in all” (verse 28).
Let’s take another look at Mama Octopus. In giving birth to her young, she dies, but she is “resurrected” in 200,000 tiny versions of herself. However, 199,800 of the babies die within a few hours as they are gobbled up by predators. But they aren’t wasted. They become nourishment for the animals that eat them, who often are eaten by bigger predators, etc., up the food chain until their nutrients become part of the Mahi Mahi dinner you enjoy at your favorite restaurant. Even the corpse of the mother octopus is recycled by scavengers, bacteria, etc. Nothing is truly wasted. God is the God of Waste Resurrected!
I believe that this is true of all God’s Creation. None of the “wasted” energy of myriad stars is lost. What is sometimes referred to as nature’s “superfluity” or “extravagance” wilI be seen from the standpoint of eternity as simply a manifestation of his boundless glory, the God who is “all in all.”
How do I know? Jesus Resurrection tells me so.
— Pastor George Van Alstine