A String Theory Christmas, Part Two
Can you open your mind wide enough to consider a big idea? Planetary big?
It’s a simple, scientific fact that seven billion of us are crammed on a tiny speck of dust circling an 11,000-degree fireball as it shoots through a limitless vacuum at 52 times the speed of a rifle bullet.1
When you’ve successfully wrapped your head around that, the rest of this becomes easier to consider.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God gave the man and woman he had “made in his own image” complete authority over the earth and everything in it.2 But they were tricked out of this authority through the lies and deceit of a beautiful angel called “the sparkling one”3 who had been cast out of heaven for leading a rebellion there.4
Jesus says in Luke, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”5
When the Sparkling One found our little speck of dust, he questioned Eve, the woman “made in the image of God.”
“Has God said thus and so? Has he? Well, I’m telling you otherwise. Now who are you going to listen to? Do you believe him, or do you believe me?” 6
We allowed our mortal enemy to have access to our authority when we chose to believe his lies. In effect, we opened our doors to a thief and a robber.
When Jesus walked the surface of our speck of dust, he referred to Satan as, “the prince of this world.” 7
God gave us control over our planet and we lost it to a master of deceit, a charming and elegant con-man.
There’s an interesting line in The Usual Suspects where Kevin Spacey says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
I’ve always been impressed with that line.
Immediately before Jesus began wandering the hillsides of Galilee healing the sick and encouraging the poor, he was tempted three times by the Sparkling One. In the third of those temptations, Luke tells us that Satan showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and said, ‘I will give you all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if you worship before me, it shall all be yours.’” 8
It’s important that we note two things here:
- Our enemy spoke of this planet and said, “…for it has been handed over to me…”
- If that wasn’t true, his offer would not have been a temptation.
But it was true. And Jesus knew it.
In the 10th Chapter of John, Jesus compares his credentials to those of Satan, the Sparkling One.
“Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, the person who does not enter the sheep pen by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber….”
“He that comes through the door is the shepherd of the sheep…”9
“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I came so that they might have life — life in all its fullness. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”10
Now let’s read that again, but with this understanding:
- We are the sheep.
- The sheep pen is the earth.
- Coming into the sheep pen “through the door” refers to coming here as a human being – an authorized agent of planet earth – through the process of natural childbirth.
God had to become one of us because humanity had been given authority over the earth.2 We opened up our authority to our enemy and as a result God found himself on the outside, looking in.
If God was going to rescue us he needed a partner – a human that had legitimate authority on the earth – someone with whom he could establish a reciprocal agreement.
This is where we get to the part about Abraham.
In essence, God said to Abraham,
“Whatever you need from me, I’ll give to you, and whatever I need from you, you’ll give to me, okay?” Abraham thought this sounded like a pretty good deal so he agreed to it and God gave him great success and encouragement.11 Then one day God said, “Partner, I need something from you.”
“Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son…
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son… all nations on earth will be blessed.” 12
Abraham’s obedience gave God the right to send Jesus on the most spectacular rescue mission in the history of the universe. God was able to send us his son because Abraham – one of us – had been willing to send his son to God.
The earth was being held by a foreign power and God had a plan to set us free but he needed a co-conspirator behind enemy lines.
Abraham stepped up for the job and became known as “the friend of God.”13
God needed Abraham to pay a price worse than death and Abraham said, “Here I am.”
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1 The earth travels around the sun at about 67,000 mph according to Scientific American, Oct 26, 1998. The speed of rifle bullets vary greatly, with a .22 long rifle cartridge traveling at about 818 mph. Our calculation assumes an “average” rifle bullet to travel at 1,280 mph. (1,280 x 52 = 66,560 mph) We did not factor into our equation that the sun, itself, is moving through the Milky Way at about 52,000 mph.
2 Genesis 1:26-30, also Psalm 8:4-6
3 The Hebrew word rendered “serpent” – the entity that beguiled Eve in Genesis 3:1 – is Nachash (from the root Nachash, to shine) and means a shining one. Ezekiel chapter 28 begins by speaking to the King of Tyre, but then transitions in verses 12-17 to comments that could never be attributed to an earthly king:
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you… You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty… and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth…”
4 Isaiah 14:12-14
5 Luke 10:18
6 Genesis 3:1-7
7 John 12:31
8 Luke 4:5-7
9 John 10:1-2
10 John 10:10
11 Genesis chapters 15 and 17
12 Genesis 22:2-18
13 2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23