“Old and New”

My daughter gave me a coffee table book which showed scenes from Denver’s past in black-and-white and the same location today done in color. At first it was sad to see so many classical old buildings demolished to allow for the construction of modern skyscrapers. However, the pages also showed the Brown Palace Hotel and mentioned that in its beginning every room had a fireplace but later they were replaced by modern central heating and cooling. The outside of the hotel has changed very little, but the modifications have greatly improved the convenience and sanitation of the rooms. That made me wish that the owners of many other beautiful old buildings had refurbished them instead of destroying them.

In some ways the human condition is similar to these structures. People age and die with new ones taking their place. Yet some get organ transplants and still look the same on the outside. However, this is temporary and experience and scripture tell us that “…it
is appointed unto man once to die…” (Heb 9:27)

Jesus Christ teaches us a lot about replacing the old with the new. He used patches on a garment and new wineskins (Mt 9:16-17) to illustrate the coming of his New Covenant (Heb 9:15) (Heb 12:24) and the passing of the Old. (Gal 4:24,30) (Rom 7:6) He also taught Nicodemus that one can be born again of water and the Spirit. (Jo 3:5) The exterior will not look different but the soul is new and clean. Even if the body is destroyed, the soul lives on. (Mat 10:28)

The Apostle Paul also talks often of the new replacing the old. The new Christian is a new creation. (2 Cor 5: 17) He puts on a new self. (Eph 4: 24) We are immersed (baptized) into death of the old person and raised to a new life. (Rom 6: 3-4) We have the same physical mind but it can be renewed. (Rom 12:2) In the material world some buildings are demolished and others are refurbished or totally rebuilt. In the spiritual world there is, “…a new and living way opened for us…” (Heb 10:20) no matter how old or young the physical body appears. (2 Cor 4:16)

— Jim Bailey