23rd November 2010

The Puzzle To End All Puzzles!

“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation…”
Ephesians 3:2-3 (TNIV) 

One of my work colleagues is a fan of Sudoku, always taking on (and solving!) the hardest puzzles that the Times newspaper publishes every day.

Once I saw him walk back to his desk after his lunch break. We work in a university, which has a busy central atrium. Somehow, he walked through this atrium packed full of students, with his head down looking at the latest Sudoku. And guess what? Despite my anticipations, he did not bump into one other person!

Some people treat the Bible as if it was a giant puzzle, waiting to be solved. One author has set the Old Testament up as a “Word search” in Hebrew, randomly finding words that he then links together to predict future events.

Others use various combinations of numbers found in the books of Daniel and Revelation to calculate the date of the end of the world.

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is in fact a puzzle in the Bible, but not one that is solved by number crunching or word games. In contrast, this puzzle is resolved through the revelation of Christ: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6).

And what a solution this is! All other attempts at decoding the Bible fall far short of the good news that through Jesus “we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12).

Puzzles based on the numbers and words in the Bible will come and go. But our new relationship with God, made possible by Jesus, will last for eternity.

Father, thank-you that in Jesus you resolve the mystery of how we can approach our Holy Creator God. We praise you in Jesus name.

Study by Ian Woodley

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