Biblical creationism is important because of the effect a wrong understanding of Genesis has on the whole of Scripture. The devastation of misunderstanding Geneis is most catastrophic when it comes to Jesus and His death on the cross for salvation. When one treats the accounts of creation as spiritual, symbolic or allegorical he leaves no rational basis on which to conclude Jesus’ death and resurrection for salvation from sin is anything but spiritual, symbolic or allegorical. While many view Genesis as an allegory and Jesus’ death for sin as a historical reality, their affirming the truth about Jesus is not a result of the symbolic understanding of Genesis but contrary to it.
Why make such a strong statement? Multiple places in the New Testament draw a direct link between Jesus as the creator of Genesis and Jesus as the Savior of men. One of the reasons the Bible gives for Jesus’ ability and authority to redeem a people to Himself is that He is the creator of all. John 1 draws a clear line between the Creator and the Savior. The gospel of John intentionally copies the opening of Genesis, “In the beginning.” From the beginning of creation, John moves to discuss the one who is life, light and salvation. In the first chapter of his gospel, John introduces Jesus as the Creator who came into the world to give eternal life. In Colossians 1 Paul follows the same logical course John did. He introduces Jesus as the creator of all who took the sin of creation upon Himself on the cross. Hebrews 1 describes Jesus as God the creator who made all things and upholds all things. This same Jesus who is God the creator and God the sustainer cleansed men of sin by His death on the cross. These passages draw a significant theological and practical connection between Jesus as the Creator and Jesus as the Savior.
Some may object that these passages do not repeat the Genesis depiction of creation. One can affirm Jesus as creator through evolutionary means without undermining the truth of Jesus as Savior. This is simply not the case. In Colossians and Hebrews both passages refer to the historical events of creation, without describing the details, and to the historical events of redemption, also without describing the details. The authors clearly expected the readers to have a Biblical, historical understanding of the events to which they referred. The absence of specific details about the creation week does not mean they are up for debate, unless one is also willing to leave the details of Jesus death and resurrection open for debate. How hopeless it would be if man had nothing but a metaphorical Savior who erases metaphorical sins and promises a metaphorical heaven! If the Savior and His salvation are concrete realities, the creative work must be as well. To re-interpret those first passages which tell us of the creation and the God who created is to leave one open for reinterpretation the later work of the Creator God to redeem His creation.