The Carbon Dioxide-Oxygen Cycle and the Gospel
Interdependence is the idea that everything in nature is connected to everything else; what happens to one plant or animal also affects other plants and animals. (Some say that in human relations interdependence is a sign of maturity.) This concept is true in positive and negative ways. In interdependence there is an implication that things depend on each other for survival. This is evident in how plants, animals and humans exchange air. It is called The Carbon Dioxide-Oxygen Cycle. It is a continuously occurring process whereby animals inhale Oxygen [O2] and then exhale Carbon Dioxide [CO2]. Simply put, Plants and other producers use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis. They produce oxygen as a waste product. Oxygen moves from the plant into the air through the leaves. Animals and humans breathe the Oxygen used in cellular respiration. Cellular respiration is a process which releases energy from the sugar molecules in food. Carbon dioxide is produced as a waste product. We exhale Carbon Dioxide, which in turn moves from the air into the leaves of plants. The plants use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis.
Our lesson correctly states that high-quality fresh air is the best suited to transfer oxygen to the blood through the lungs and to carry off the carbon dioxide that the body produces. This high-quality air is most available in natural environments, where trees, plants, and flowing waters are found. As said above, the plants absorb the carbon dioxide in exchange for renewing the oxygen content of the air. It is no wonder that God placed Adam and Eve in a garden setting surrounded by plants of all types and watered by a river that flowed through the Garden and became the headwater for the great rivers of the antediluvian earth.
Good clean air usually may be found in abundance in natural outdoor environments, especially around evergreen trees, green plants in mountains and forests, near moving waters such as oceans, lakes, and waterfalls, and after rain. It is estimated that the algae in the ocean provides almost 90 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere, with the rest coming from plants. Live plants in your own home can help to clean the air there and remove carbon dioxide.
The tragic story in the beginning of this week's lesson tells us how dangerous the lack of Oxygen and abundance CO2 can be for humans. Let us read it,
A few years ago, a family of five went to a cabin in the mountains for a short Christmas vacation. One evening they shut all the windows tight in order to keep cold air from coming in, and they turned the furnace on full blast in order to keep the cabin warm through the bitter night. The only problem? The whole family died because the furnace had used up all the oxygen in the air!
There was nothing to replace the oxygen used in the furnace instead carbon dioxide from the furnace spread over the room, thus poisoning the whole family.
In a certain way we can see the Gospel represented here. In this case the plants represent God, and all oxygen breathing creatures represent us. Sin is represented by CO2, and God's righteousness is O2. When we breathe God's righteousness we let go of our Sin, which God takes away from us.
We know that the Father imputed our Sin and transgression on the Son, and in turn imputed His righteousness on us. This objective truth is expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." We can also see sanctification in this process. We know that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and if we allow Him He will sanctify us, thus separating us from Sin. Breathing in God's oxygen (Righteousness) pushes out our CO2 (Sin). So, subjectively, it means that when we by faith accept the objective truth, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us and gives us the righteousness of Christ while He takes away our Sin. Paul expresses this in 1 Corinthians 6:11,
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
He also expresses this in Hebrews 10:14-16
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Hebrews 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Exhale Sin, inhale righteousness: that is our cycle.