Background: I’m convinced the Cross is central to all of existence. If the Word is what drives all of life, the Cross is what the Word rests upon. Before time, during earth time and after time the Cross is found. All we have to do is look. All we have to do is “lift up our eyes.”
Paul of Tarsus is the only human who visited heaven and then returned to earth. He was told not to reveal any details. But in one of his letters he let the cat out of the bag. “I resolved to know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
That tells me the Cross IS everywhere. In heaven, on earth, on every page of the bible. The Cross is the secret to Christ-like living on a daily basis. What would Jesus do? He’d die to his flesh.
When asked what was of “first importance,” Paul didn’t hesitate to reveal what he had learned from his own trip to heaven. It was “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the (Scriptures).” Not that Jesus lived an amazing life or that he performed astounding miracles. No, it was that Jesus died on the Cross for sin according to the script laid down in advance. (1st Corinthians 15:3)
Story: Buried in one of the most boring sections of the bible is found the Cross in all its glory. Isn’t God just like that? Numbers 2 describes in mind-numbing detail how the various tribes were to set up camp around the central hub of the priest’s families. Here’s how it breaks down:
22.300 Levites were to camp in the center hub around the Tabernacle, indicated by the “X”
186,000–those from the tribes of Judah, Isaachar and Zebulin were to camp on the east side of the Tabernacle
158,000–those from the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali, to the north side
151,000–those from Reuben, Simeon and Gad, to the south side
108,000–those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin, to the west side
When you plot this out proportionately, this is what it would look like from the air:
151K-------------|------------158k ----------> North
Comments: Why would God do this? To witness to onlookers! In Numbers 23-24 the evil prophet Balaam views the tribes from this birds-eye perspective. “And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.” Numbers 24:2 says, “And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him...”
Balaam saw the Cross when he “lifted up his eyes.” God took him into another dimension where he even saw Jesus hanging from that living Cross.
Besides Israel’s enemies, angels and saints would see the Cross. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight...looking to Jesus...who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
If there is life on nearby planets and they had telescope-like vision, they’d see the Cross outlined in the white sands.
Jesus himself points out the Cross in John 3:14-15, recalling when Moses had been instructed to raise up a pole with a bronze serpent in Numbers 21. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” Note the term “lifted up.” As I say here, that indicates a door opening into another dimension. I’m convinced the movements Moses made in raising the pole were identical to those of the Roman soldiers 1500 years later. Those looking at the bronze serpent for healing even saw fleeting visions of Jesus hanging on that pole. That’s God’s love at work.
I believe God had Israel multitasking during their 38 years of wandering in the Sinai. With their million feet-prints leaving large swaths in the sand, they were drawing the Cross. Not only that, I believe they were also writing the Torah letter by letter in giant letters for witnesses to contemplate. Satan’s counterfeit would be the Nazca lines of Peru.
When Jesus bent down in the sand to write, as John 8:6 records, will you be surprised to someday learn he drew a Cross? Didn’t all of life, all our sins, play out on the Cross? Wouldn’t the Cross be the great truth-detector that would cause the woman’s accusers to come unglued as they saw their sins displayed by the Ultimate Hidden Camera?
The Cross is everywhere. It’s the centerpiece of heaven before time began. It’s the Tree of Life “in the midst of the garden” of Eden. It’s indelibly etched on planet Earth. It’s the tree of life in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22) whose leaves are “for the healing of the nations.”
The Cross is even infused in our very bodies as the protein molecule laminin. Colossians 1:17 says “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” That is the function of the laminin glycoprotein, to hold cells together. Which of course is simply an expression of DNA which is simply an expression of God’s Word.