When Jesus came, He inaugurated the greatest restoration project imaginable. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!” Christ represents a radical shift. In Christ a new age has been inaugurated, a kingdom that gets bigger and better all the time. In new creation, it is not that everything around us has changed. It doesn’t mean “happily ever-after or trouble-free existence”, but rather that we have a new perspective. The old way of looking at things is gone. It is not that there are no more disappointments but that we look at them differently. It is not that there are no more temptations but that we respond to them differently. Salvation is renewal on the inside; it’s not just avoiding evil, but it’s desiring what is right. It’s not just a return to original beauty; it is also forward to something greater than ever before! One of the remarkable things about being a human being is that we can be restored – and that somehow life becomes even more magnificent because what was previously ruined has been reclaimed, recreated, and set free through forgiveness offered by Christ. Jesus plunged himself into the guts of our ruin: raging anger, contempt, hatred, obsessive lust, bitter divorce, verbal manipulation, revenge, slapping, suing, coercing, and begging. In a phrase, He plunged into “our broken relationships!” He plunged into all of this so that he could make us new. Every miracle that Jesus performed pointed toward restoration for the broken. The blind see. The deaf hear. The lame walk. The dead are raised. He restored broken humanity. This is what God is offering to mankind in Jesus; it is renewal and restoration. This also tells me that we are worth redeeming to God.Sin has not made us worthless, but only lost and ruined. Yet, God has refused to scrap us. In Jesus, He hangs on to his original fallen creation and begins to work to salvage it. “God doesn’t make junk and He will not junk what He has made (Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview Albert Wolters).” He never walked off and left us. He cares about more than just redeeming your soul for eternity. He wants to restore you, beginning now. It has always been God’s plan, not just to forgive you, but to restore you – to make you like Jesus. Paradise has been regained!