Unlike my sister-in-law, Terri, I’m not a jigsaw puzzle person. Every vacation or holiday, you can just about bank on it—out comes some beautifully photographed but deviously detailed puzzle with three million pieces, and somehow that’s supposed to be stress-reducing?
To each his own.
If I were a puzzle-fan, however, I definitely wouldn’t buy them secondhand, like I do most everything else. There’s just this nagging thought that after all that work the last piece (or five) would not be in the box. That could mean, for instance, that Washington’s nose might be missing as he’s crossing the Delaware, or the chalice might be missing from the Last Supper, or Picasso’s Guernica….
….well, okay, on that one I might not notice.
Point made, if I want to make sure I have a whole puzzle, it needs to be a NEW puzzle.
I’m also thinking this is what God had in mind when He brought Jesus into our history. The old system of holiness just wasn’t working. History kept stubbornly repeating itself, although truth be told, we were the stubborn ones. When the Creator started this project, He created us fresh out of the box…whole.
Interesting, the two words, holy and whole, are historically connected, according to that unimpeachable repository of knowledge, i.e., Wikipedia:
“The English word ‘holy’ dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning ‘whole’ and used to mean ‘uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete’”.
Which adds some light onto the concept of holy. It’s not just about behaviors and decisions, because that’s only a consequence of something far deeper. Holiness can only come from wholeness, which can only come from the Creator Himself. And this He does in the personhood of Jesus Christ.
“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time….For by that one offering he forever made perfect (i.e.—whole, my note) those who are being made holy.”
Really, the crux of the cross is not about me living up to God’s standards of behavior, but that God makes me whole again, in His image, a brand new from-the-factory sealed box with no pieces missing.
Reading that passage again shows that it’s the perfect example of the “already/not yet” concept which is part of the mystery in Christian theology. And although words like “process” and ‘progress” do not give us excuse to transgress His order, it also doesn’t make this reality any less than what it is—true.
Opening a new box of 1000-piece puzzle can be a bit daunting, but when Jesus offers us that new box, it’s definitely worth taking a look inside. Besides, there are plenty to assist in putting all the pieces together. It just takes time.
Hebrews 10:10,14 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2)