“He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” (Ps. 18:19)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The concept of the second half of the cross brings the sometimes spectacular participation of God in the lives of the people of faith in the Bible, down within reach of our own present-day lives. Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life reconnects the open circuit of real purpose and meaning in life, through the myriad of individualized life-plans and schemes imagined within the mind of God, because these life-plans and schemes were first contemplated at the time God created each one of us. The cross is the universal leveling reality through experience (1 Corinthians 4:9), common to all believers in every age and generation, which today enables us to relate to and understand the Bible on equal footing with the great men and women of faith, as we study the second half of the cross in the lives of the people of faith described in this book.
Most Christians understand in a general way the cross and the surrendering of our lives to Christ. But do we clearly see and understand this in the narrative stories of the people of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible? If we can see the cross throughout the Bible, we then have a solid scriptural foundation to go forward into our own personal journey of faith built upon the Rock that is Christ. If we can capture this vision in scripture, if we can see the cross in the life-scripts of faith in the Bible, we can surrender and yield ourselves to Jesus Christ according to the rock-solid foundation of the Word of God.
The story of Abraham makes no sense whatsoever through a purely humanistic lens. Why would Abraham go to Canaan unless he is hearing and responding to the actual voice of God calling Abraham into this new reality of a journey of faith? Without the element of the supernatural participation of the living God, this opening narrative of Abraham picking up and moving to Canaan is just a bland story of a person migrating from one city into another geographical region.
The story of Joseph completely falls apart without the active participation of a brilliantly creative God who has all of the personal, political, and social factors within His command, and has the power to supernaturally enter into and intervene in detailed events and circumstances within the four-dimensional medium of space and time.
Even though the cross of Christ is a continuous thread running throughout the Bible from beginning to end, the wide range of varied storylines of the positive characters in the Bible demonstrates God’s creative ability to take each of our innate capacities and life circumstances, and craft them into something uniquely beautiful.
Jesus Christ looks at us like a sculptor looks at a rough-hewn block of marble. The virtuosic figure in stone is not found in the finished statue, but in the pieces of marble that must be meticulously chipped-off the rough-hewn block to arrive at the final masterpiece. Only God knows what needs to be chipped away from our fallen natures to arrive at the masterpiece that God first envisioned when He created each one of us. This is another way of describing the second half of the cross process that is contained within a biblical journey of faith following Jesus Christ. This is the uniquely original and living portion of our relationship to God as Christians, that we can recognize throughout the Bible, and that we must pursue with all of our hearts and minds.