Shadows dancing on a wall
By Dr. Robert Owens
The idea that everything came out of nothing is an assault upon reason. Since creation is often presented this way as a straw-man argument by the opponents of faith, many thinking people fall for this siren song of secularism.
But that isn’t what the Bible presents. In the beginning, in Genesis we’re told that God called all things in this physical reality into being out of nothing physical. This reality did not exist before God willed it to be here. God said, “Let there be,” and there is.
But this doesn’t mean that everything came out of nothing. In the letter to the Hebrews Paul put it this way, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” It was God’s word and His faith in His word that created everything. And it’s God’s faith that sustains all that we see.
Ponder for a moment the incredibly complex relationship between the physical reality and our perception of it. The computer screen you’re reading this article on is made up of more empty space than matter. As is the table or desk it’s sitting on. As are you and I. From the dark matter and dark energy that scientists theorize makes up the vast majority of the Space-time continuum to the sub-atomic world which goes as far in as the stellar expanse goes out this physical reality is actually tiny bits of matter held together by invisible forces.
Accepting ourselves as the center of the universe because that’s the only point of observation each of us has we look at our macro view of the micro world and see solid things and we accept that this is the totality of reality. However, that’s only how we perceive things. That’s not what they really are. All matter is enveloped in emptiness powered by energy and the fabric of creation is sustained by faith.
Long before modern science revealed the mirage of solid matter or the inability of perception to account for an expanding universe without a preponderance of dark everything, one of the greatest of secular thinkers aptly described the shifting sands upon which our understanding rests.
In his book The Republic Plato used the allegory of the cave to explain the relationship between perception and reality. His story goes like this; prisoners are chained in a cave, only able to look forward at the shadows on the wall. The shadows they see are real to them, but in reality the shadows are just the shadows of real objects in the room and shadows of the prisoners themselves being projected on the cave wall from a fire behind them. The sounds they hear and images they see are real to them, even though they are unaware of the true source. The allegory of the cave is a theory put forward by Plato, concerning human perception. Plato claimed that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning.
Thus even those who knew nothing of God could see that what we see is not all there is and that what we do see is more a representation of what it is than what it appears to be. However, the wisdom of the wise is foolishness to God and the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise.
The problem with this thinking past the shadows is that we can’t reason our way to God. He’s outside the bounds of our reality, the source and summit of that reality and therefore, beyond anything we can think or imagine. If He didn’t reveal Himself we could no more reason what He’s like than an ant could reason its way to man.
God used an allegory to teach the Israelites about the death-defeating life-giving nature of the Messiah’s mission.
Since the days when the Jews were slaves in Egypt the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb has been the symbol and the purchase of redemption. Originally Moses ordered the Jews to sacrifice the Passover Lamb and then apply the blood to the door posts of their homes. Seeing the blood of the sacrifice the Angel of Death passed over God’s chosen people. For more than a thousand years the Jews sacrificed the Passover Lamb every year to cover their sins never knowing this was a shadow of things to come.
Christ’s ministry was first announced to a fallen world when John the Baptist said, “Behold the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.” And from that moment on His life brought the true form of reality out of the shadow.
Following the command of Moses as interpreted by the elders every year each Jewish family chose a lamb and took it into their home to live with the family for five days. During this time they examined the lamb for blemishes. Only after it was found to be perfect could it become the Passover Lamb. Then the lamb was sacrificed and the blood poured out on the altar of God to cover the sins of the people.
Jesus, the Lamb of God entered Jerusalem on the same day that the lambs entered the homes of the Jews. For five days He was examined by the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Pharisees. After He was found to be without guilt they were forced to bring in false witnesses. Than on the fifth day; the Day of Preparation just as the Jews were sacrificing the Passover Lamb the light of revelation pierced the darkness of a fallen world as thousand year old shadows took on flesh and blood for when Christ was nailed to the cross the shadow became real.
At the time of Christ’s death and resurrection even His Apostles didn’t understand what it was all about. They scattered and hid fearing they would be the next to go. It was only after they were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that they boldly proclaimed the Gospel. It was only then that they finally grasped that Jesus came to fulfill the scriptures, to make the shadows real.
We may ask ourselves, “How did they miss it?” But just as the proof is in the pudding so faith is in the living. Do we live consistently in a way that reveals our grasp of God’s revelation? Or do we judge our acceptance with God by how well we’re doing? Do we live each day in the full knowledge that we’ve become eternally acceptable to God only by our faith in Christ? Our ability to walk boldly into our Daddy’s throne room must never be measured by how good we are. If it is we can never enter.
People say that hind sight is 20/20. Yet we all know those who fail to learn the lessons of History are doomed to repeat it, and all around us we watch as History repeats itself over and over. We who’ve confessed Jesus as Lord and who believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead have the benefit of revelation. We’re given insight into the shadows which still lie over this vale of tears like a fog. We can see the forms which to those without Christ are nothing more than shadows dancing on the wall of a cave.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page /