Did you notice the drastic shift in tone in this year’s Super Bowl commercials? Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and even Budweiser had our hearts longing for the restoration of body, culture, and relationship. Budweiser saw the bumbling puppy and the mighty horse reunited, and Coca-Cola painted the global nature of America’s unity. Microsoft showed the deaf hearing and the lame running. Microsoft’s ad did more than show the power of technology in the world today; Microsoft proclaimed vividly to the world the hope that Jesus Christ himself fulfilled.
Early in Jesus’ life on earth, Jesus sent messengers with hope to the prophet, John, who had preceded him. Imprisoned and languishing, John wondered if he had been right in his proclamation that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the long-promised deliverer and savior of the Jews. Early in his ministry, he had quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, saying of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). John expected that Jesus the Messiah would be able to break the bondage that sin had in the world. Sin enslaves the world in physical infirmities, natural disasters, broken relationships, and death.
So John was asking (my paraphrase), “How can I know that you’re here to save the world, Jesus? What evidence do you have to make the claim that you are the Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?” Jesus responds using words of the same prophet Isaiah, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them” (Luke 7:22; cf. Isaiah 61:1). This is the hope to which those who believe in Jesus cling—that Jesus, the Savior of the world who broke the chains of sin and death, will come back to the world to bring full restoration.
Microsoft allows us to glimpse this new world. Microsoft presents restoration via the assistance of technology. The restoration of the world by Jesus will mean re-creation of our broken selves, a whole and holistic resurrection. Revelation describes the restoration of the world this way: “[God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Imagine the tears of the woman hearing, “Can you hear me talking?” for the first time magnified as our ears are opened to hear angelic singing. Imagine the joyful face of the young boy running without prosthetics for the first time leaping into the arms of Jesus. Imagine the eyes of the formerly blind artist embracing the awe of restored creation writ large. See the children of the world united not by a screen but face-to-face. Thank you, Microsoft, for helping us to envision the true, whole reality just on the horizon. Embrace the hope of the restoration brought by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.