“There’s a scarlet thread that runs through the entire bible” I think to myself as I admire the beautiful tapestry hanging on the museum wall. As I am looking closer the tapestry, an incredible portrait of Jesus Christ hanging lifeless on a wooden cross, I realize that the threads woven into it are continuous, that is they run from one end to the other. Although they disappear for a moment here and there they ultimately emerge to consummate the drops of blood falling from the Savior’s broken body.
It was later that week, as I was preparing for the 7:00 pm Wednesday night bible study at the Youth Center, when the Holy Spirit illuminated several scriptures that constitute a message thread that runs through the entire length of the bible. I like to think of it as the finger print of the One, True and Living God who has woven a brilliant scarlet thread into the fabric of the bible. The bible as a whole is a message from God that has been woven together by the Holy Spirit through forty authors over a time span of thousands of years.
The unraveling of this scarlet thread began for me as I was studying the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy chapter ten, verses 12-18.
"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.”
We see God’s grace and mercy as he administers justice and defends the fatherless, widow and stranger. We also see God instructing His people to “circumcise the foreskin of their hearts”, in other words to soften their hearts by removing the calluses that cover their hearts, encouraging them to treat others in need with love, grace and compassion. Circumcision no longer just an outward sign but now becomes a change of heart.
Our scarlet thread disappears out of sight for a thousand years until it resurfaces as the Lord speaks through the prophet Jeremiah. "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
So, here our scarlet thread reappears in our beautiful tapestry as a clear picture of the promised Redeemer or Messiah where Jesus Christ begins to come into focus. This prophecy was not only given but also recorded five hundred years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Here, clearly, God promises to make a New Covenant where He will not only take away our iniquity but also remembers our sin no more.
Finally, our scarlet thread reaches the end as Jesus Himself, Matthew 26:27-29, proclaims just what this New Covenant is. "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."