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The Scarlet Thread

When I was young in my single digits, the bible held a unique fascination.  What little I knew of it was gleaned from the several times I attended Sunday school at Union church in Hinsdale in the 1950’s.

No mention of the bible made in my home.  All I knew of God from my parents was when I was 5 years old upon beholding December snowfall first year in our newly built home.  I asked my mother, “who is God?” She said “God is love”.

That answer sufficed my five year old mind for some seasons but questions brewed in my mind as I grew older.  The bible seemed special and unique and promised answers to deep important questions.

It was a huge book.  Seem an insurmountable task to read the whole thing specially at now 8 years old because I had only recently learned to read.

Determined to decipher what mysteries the bible held I tried many times to do a cover to cover read of the tome.  Genesis went down pretty ok.  Upon encountering the genealogies, my comprehension fell off sharply but not my interest.

Rather than try to make sense of the impediment of the genealogies I figured there must be some code to crack that would make it all understandable.

Codes and mysteries were all the rage in the late 1950’s post WWII and the looming space race, cold war, all reflected in popular cinema, television, and culture.

There were unprecedented quantum leaps in technology.  Radio was still an amazing thing.  Short wave radio even more amazing as ham operators communicated around the globe with other radio operators from their garages and basements signaling Morse code.

Television was yet a new invention and everyone soon had one. Color tv?  Only for the very rich to view the few broadcasts “in living color”.  These were all mysterious exciting new technologies.
I figured there had to be some sort of hidden meaning in the bible.

Something mysterious like all the new emerging technologies surrounding me.  Secret codes helped us prevail in war.  Perhaps there was a secret to understanding the bible.

In my then 10 year old mind I figured the trick was to read the bible in reverse.  I took my bible and opened it in front of the mirror hanging in the back hall of my home between the two bathrooms.

I hoped this would be the key to unlock the secrets I sought. Holding my open bible up to view the text in reverse reflection I soon realized the answer was much deeper than my naiveté presumed.

Well I was at least half right.  There is a code so to speak to understanding the bible.  It took at least 10 more years before I began to get it.  What I didn’t know at the time was that the bible is spiritually discerned unlike other books I had read.  Spiritual discernment was only possible by aid of The Holy Spirit.

Thought I was spiritually aware but later learned I wasn’t when I personally encountered Jesus Christ.  Christ taught simple parables simpleminded people could understand and “swallow”.

Those “sophisticated” choked on His message missing the point entirely. That was by design because Jesus taught that we must become as children to enter His kingdom. The prophets wrote that Messiah would be rejected by His people. The wisdom of God was revealed to the simple and confounded the worldly wise and even the religious leaders of His day.

His words are spiritually discerned as concepts revealed by The Spirit. It’s like a download from heaven. Only those with correct processor can receive it. Wrong processor and message freezes the computer.

Literal reading of the bible gleans history people question, and poetry I guess but it’s pretty dry to read as literature. That’s nice and all I suppose but it’s a sliver of a fraction of God’s intent and potential.

I tried reading bible as literature as a kid and quickly gave up. Lots of way more understandable books of history and poetry out there than the bible. Yet there are none that can be compared to The Bible in content and power.

I’m writing primarily to those who are curious about my devotion to the Bible and Jesus Christ in particular. If you don’t know why the bible is so important to me it’s either because you’ve not read it or you’re not personally acquainted with Its Author.

Big difference between the bible and any other book. Yes bible was written by men. Actually lots of it was conveyed generation to generation orally. Point is what differentiates the bible from any of the other books about God. First and foremost, the bible is God’s Word. Though man recorded it, the history cited actually occurred and was so significant and incredible and the news so astonishing that the message was passed along from generation to generation so that it would be forever remembered.

Important note for those with legitimate questions: The bible is a collection of writings by men inspired by God, testimonies of people who witnessed miracles, and written of stories passed previously orally from generations earlier.

The “canon” of what we now call “the bible” was determined and “closed” by the Nicean council in 325 AD. Those men selected and rejected numerous documents about God based upon conformity to uniform depiction of God as omniscient creator from the beginning of time, consistent testimony of His attributes by various witnesses, and to the exclusion of any variance thereof. Thus the cannon of scripture was closed and is now the final testament of Who God is was and forever will be.

When was the last time you saw someone perform miracles? Just asking. Let’s say you did see someone walk on the water defying laws of physical science. Surely that video would go viral on youtube if not a magic trick and even those go viral. What about the real deal?

Try this on for size… you meet a guy at a wedding and see him turn dirty water into fine wine. What say you? It gets even better… you follow this guy around for a while. A friend of yours dies. Few days later this guy calls his name and your friend comes back to life. You saw it. You were there. What are you going to do?

Here’s some more… friend of yours born with a withered arm comes to Jesus and returns with two perfectly good arms. Then there was the blind guy who now sees after being with Jesus. Not fairy tales but stuff that really happened!  Hundreds of people saw this and even more happen.  Let’s say you were there.  What are you going to do?

My guess is you’re going to tell everyone you know about the amazing miracles you witnessed. You’d be so jazzed by it you would write letters and insist you really did see it and want everyone to tell everyone so that history would never forget this actually happened.

Put yourself in the shoes of those there.  Hundreds if not thousands of people saw Him do stuff like this.  They told everyone they could and wrote it down.  Come on people you’d have done exactly the same!  It was frigging MIRACULOUS!

Who doesn’t like the supernatural?  We all watched Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Science Fiction Theater, countless sci fi movies… all of them challenge conventional thinking.  Why is it that though you embrace and enjoy (not saying believe) such shows you are quick to dismiss the Christ of the bible?

I know why.

Christ speaks of righteousness and sin.  When we read His words we find ourselves in the sin category, it’s brutally uncomfortable, and we seek another way outside of the light he casts on our life.

It’s no fun being a sinner.  So we call it something else.  We call it natural or excuse it as old fashioned out of touch with reality, or whatever natural reasoning comes up with to get out of the severe light of His consequence.

I know. I’m just like you.  I did everything I could to hide my sins from Him justifying my thoughts and deeds in light of popular convention.  We all do!  You can run but you can’t hide.  God is everywhere!

Why do we hide from The One Who created us and loves us?  I know.  We hide because we know inside we’re wrong.  Nobody wants to be wrong.  We strive to be right but we do so for ultimately prideful reasons.

Think about it.  How many little old ladies did you walk across the street?  10?  Well I walked 20!  Does that make me better than you?  My pride may say so.  Oh wait… pride… that’s a sin.  Dang sin thing!

Try being perfect.  It’s actually not possible.  I tried it all my life and I totally suck at it.  Is perfection possible?  Ask the guy born of a virgin who turned water to wine walked on the water and raised the dead.  Seriously... ask Him.  He’d love to hear from you.

BTW He’s listening to this written conversation in your head right now and totally interested in your thoughts on the matter.

So back on topic… well actually Christ is the topic because according to the bible He is and always has been the topic.  That’s been my point in this rant.  The bible is all about Christ.  He is the thread throughout.  He was there at the beginning and is there at the end.

The thread is scarlet because of His blood shed for us.  He was there in Genesis because everything that was made was made by Him and He was there in the end in Heaven.  It’s a long drawn out drama from beginning of time to the end of time.

We’re talking beginning of time till end of time and entrance into eternity where time is no longer a factor.  I know that’s cosmic and far out but its all there in the bible.  I’ve read it and though still far out to me, His words are the most beautiful, wonderful, rewarding, and comforting words ever spoken, written, or read.

I’m not religious.  I ask nothing from my reader other than to consider the historical scarlet thread found throughout the bible.

 It’s Jesus Christ.

If you don’t yet know this Jesus I write about, He knows you.  He is the God Who created you.  He’s been there with you all along even when you refused and resisted and struggled on your own. He created all of the universe for you to inhabit for eternity if you will but simply believe Him.  He asks nothing of you other than for your sin.  He knows everything about you already.  A perfect God would know everything.  A perfect God would love you perfectly. He would not want any to perish but for all to come to Him rather then die in sin outside of His perfect Heaven.

Sin is abhorrent to God because He and His heaven are perfect. Selfish sin conflicts with His loving will and purpose for life and eternity.  He went to the cross in your stead to pay the just penalty you fear.  Sinners know they are guilty.

Do you know you are guilty of sin?  We all are my friend.  All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God’s perfect righteousness.

Give Him your sin and He will give you His righteousness because He loves you that much.  Then you will have peace with God and discover the peace OF God forever.  God loves us so much that He paid the penalty for our sin on the cross.

Who are we to reject so great a love?  Now is the time.  Draw near to Him.  He’s been near all the time though we hid from him in shame.  Bring your sin out in the open and God will take it from you and make you clean and new and give you His Sprit so that you can live forever with him in newness of life.

Back to the bible for a moment.  It’s unique among all books ever written.  You can’t understand the bible spiritually if you’re spiritually dead as all of us were.  It won’t make sense and if interested you will seek for the code to decipher it.

Only the author can explain it to you.  He lives inside of you.  If you are honest with Him and acknowledge yourself a sinner, He will forgive you and reveal the bible code.  A preacher friend of mine once explained the bible this way.

“If you had discovered a shoe box filled with love letters I had written to my wife when we were dating and read them, you would learn lots about me and her and probably relate to the sentiments. It could be a blessing to you.”

“However, if I discovered that shoe box filled with love letters it would be an entirely different experience for me.  You see, I would recall the fragrance of her perfume, the texture of her hair, the sound of her voice, the glint in her eye when we first kissed, the music popular in the day, the make and model of the car I drove, and so much more.  The difference being that I was there and you were not.”

When reading God’s words the difference is the author is resident in you.  He was there. Let Him reveal His life to you through the scriptures.  It’s the only life we have and it’s worth living forever in Him considering the great cost is was to Him to make it possible and the horrific consequence of eternity without Him.
 


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