If the life of Abraham was about fulfilling horizontally conventional normalcy, Abraham could have stayed safely in Haran. Abraham courageously journeys out into an adventure of faith following God into the Promised Land. The cross at Calvary not only epitomizes the rejection of Jesus Christ, but also a rejection of a God-led, Abraham-quality expedition of faith central to Judaism and Christianity.
When Abraham walked the earth he was not only the father of faith but also the sole entirety of the Jewish nation. A journey of faith after the pattern of Abraham is therefore exclusively Jewish by origin and definition. When the leaders in Jerusalem rejected Jesus in favor of continuing worldly conventional normalcy in the political and religious realms (Jn. 11:48), when they rejected an adventure of faith patterned after Abraham, they were in the most profound and concrete way being un-Jewish (Rom. 9:6-7). The rejection of Jesus as messiah is an emphatic endorsement of worldly horizontal, conventional normalcy because it is a rejection of the bold and liberated adventures of biblical-quality faith starting with Abraham.
Acts 13:27 reads: “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” Their tragic vision was so horizontally limited they could not recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…right before their very eyes (1 Cor. 2:6-8). They were stuck in the self-autonomy mode of going our own way.
This is why in the area of motivation it is imperative that Spirit-born Christians take up their cross and “enter in at the narrow gate” (Mt. 7:13-14) of our God-composed adventures of faith. Every Spirit-born Christian is in the narrow gate and no longer on the broad road to destruction. The new covenant promise of God is that all believers will know Him from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:31-34). The way of the cross in a journey of faith is the God ordained route to rise above worldly conventional thinking and into the realm where all things are possible with God.
We cannot possibly write the life-script of experiences that will bring us into a personal relationship with God. We cannot possibly know ourselves well enough in-the-moment, using divinely wise foresight like God possesses, to be able to craft a life-plan that will actualize our individual destiny. We cannot creatively imagine a life-script for ourselves to match the innovative brilliance of life-plans like those of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Daniel, Peter, James, John, Philip, and Paul…producing personal character growth and at the same time filling a cultural and historical niche in time that is outside of the range of our wide-angle vision.
This is why the Spirit-born Christian today must abandon self-sovereignty, take up their cross, and begin their journey of faith following Jesus Christ…building a backstory of faith-generating experiences that form the basis for overcoming faith as described in Hebrews chapter 11, Ephesians 6:11-18, and Revelation 12:11.