Tracing in the Sands of Time

Daily Post:  Trace

trace

Jeffrey Deaver has written 13 novels about Lincoln Rhyme, a former NYPD Homicide Detective turned Forensic Consultant, who left the NYPD when he became a quadriplegic after an accident on the job.  Partnering with Amelia Sachs, a former model turned investigator now working with NYPD, she tall, fast driving, nail biting detective “walks the grid” in search of trace evidence to solve complex crimes.  The science behind Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is not fiction however. This process involves meticulous observation and documentation of the scene – photography, identification of physical evidence and collecting it, including fingerprints, footwear impressions, hair, fibers, biological fluids, and DNA for analysis.  All this information combined with careful reasoning of the facts surrounding the crime, often aid in solving the “who done it,” which makes fiction authors so famous.  “Stranger than fiction?”  Often not, in real life.

There is one mystery today that remains solved but unresolved, for those who study the facts of it.  Since we only have trace evidence in the matter, and that only a smattering of documentation compared to what is being collected at crimes scenes today, we must trust in the veracity of said documentation.  The narrative is as old as time itself, in terms of motive.  The scene of the crime was one of power, and an expression of what happens when you cross the sovereignty of the State.  The characters in the story are countless, including perhaps on some level all of mankind itself.  The weapons, still not in evidence today: three nails and a spear.

The Jewish leadership determined that rather than let the people perish at the hand of a hostile Roman overlord, which they deemed would occur if something wasn’t done, agreed to hand over Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their sacrificial lamb, in an effort to restore sanity back to heir jurisdiction.  The puppet king Herod, laughed his way through the proceedings, expecting Jesus to perform miracles to entertain him.  The powerless procurator, Pilate, tried cunningly to outwit the Jewish high priests, but in the end came up with a plan to free Jesus, whom he thought was an innocent, which backfired, releasing the murderous Barabbas instead.

In the end, not only Judas, but all of Jesus’ closest followers ran from his arrest and hid themselves.  Historically the brutality of crucifixion is well documented through secular documents as well as the Bible.  The horrific nature of this kind of death, and the reasons why the Roman government employed it, are not lost at all.  Yet the mystery remains unresolved in many people today.

Some read the story as a fictional narrative, believing in their hearts that most of it is made up, just like Noah’s Ark, the crossing of the Red Sea, or the walls of Jericho crumbling to the ground.  All we have left of any of these stories is the trace evidence.  A document which has lasted so long as a validated, historically accurate, evidentiary exhibit, that the truths it holds cannot be challenged.  When God documented what he determined would happen, it happened.  Including offering up His own Son, His only Son, as a sacrifice for the Sin of the world.

Yet the mystery remains.  Why?

Why would God, “so love the world?”
Why would God see this death as the only way to redeem us?
Why would Jesus allow Himself to be used in this way?
Why?

We could search for the rest of our natural lives to answer this question, but human minds cannot reason with the unmistakable truth of it all:

Romans 5:6
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Why did He do it?  He did it for me.

Why did He do it?  He did it for you.

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Narratives and Notes

Yarn

tapestry

Telling a good story is really a work of art. Taking a thread here, weaving into it a thread from over there, over and over repeating the process, and pretty soon, you have a good yarn.  Whether humorous or sad, true or fiction, real or not, the making of the narrative is complex.  Like any work of art, the reader (or listener) determines the value of the story being told.  I’m a sucker for a good tale, saga or anecdote.  My uncle Wylie used to tell some of the biggest “cock-and-bull” stories I’ve ever heard.  I laughed until my sides hurt, and my mouth wouldn’t quit grinning.  His long rambling mannerisms and sayin’s are part of my favorite childhood memories.

I also like reading a good work of fiction from time to time. My two favorite fiction authors are Jeffrey Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme novels), and J. A. Jance (J.P. Beaumont novels) each writing crime stories, but each very distinctly different in their writing styles.  A close third for me would be Lee Child, and his hero, the misfit ex-military cop, Jack Reacher.  All these books have served me well, for countless hours of decompression from a busy and hectic world, filled with work, and the stuff of life.  For a good getaway any of these are fun options.

From a spiritual standpoint, there is one book that has affected and effected my life in a substantial way for many years.  Written by Dr. M. R. De Haan, The Chemistry of the Bood is an excellent read, which atheists or agnostics would most certainly call a “yarn.”  Dr. De Haan describes the correlation between Scripture and science.  In a wonderful exposition of the Bible, where he explains quite well, the mysteries of Jesus being fully divine, while at the same time being fully human.  Because the “life” as he points out, is in the blood.  Other chapters in the book include, “The Chemistry of Tears, The Chemistry of the Bible, The Chemistry of Man,” and other important truths.

Some of the stories included in the Bible also fall into that category of “yarn” for those who don’t believe it as the Word of God.  A 9 foot tall hardened warrior giant, brought down by a stone, cast from a shepherd boy’s sling, come on!  The creation of the world in 6 days, come on!  The birth of a baby from a virgin, come on!  One man’s death covering the sins of all mankind, come on!  The same man planning to return to earth, because he was resurrected, and went back to heaven; but now he’s coming again, come on!  Then he is going to judge us for not believing any of these yarns, come on!

Well, there it is my friends.  The Bible is full of narratives and notes, but for any of them to have an impact in your life, you must believe they are true.  You must decide that you will live as though your life depended on them being true.  You can’t just read the Bible for the entertainment value of a good story.  You can’t just pick and choose the stories you like.  It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

Isaiah 55:11
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

God’s word is like a giant tapestry, weaving together the greatest story ever told, by the Master Weaver of thought and communication.  In fact, there is another great read which was important in my Doctoral studies at Seminary.  Written by Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver describes how every dimension of our lives – from the happy to the tragic to the mundane – is part of a beautiful and purposeful design in which no thread is wrongly woven into its perfect place.

It’s more than a good yarn.

 

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