Note: The following is an excerpt from my book, The Non-Prophet’s Guide to the Bible.
On July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., an event took place that changed the world forever.
A handful of people witnessed it and knew this would instantly catapult the humanity into a new era. A top-secret, five-year-old project with an original budget of just $6,000 led to the detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
After the initial fireball, the mushroom cloud grew to 2,000 feet across and 6 miles high1. The world would never be the same.
Until that day, the concept behind the atomic bomb was theoretical and centered on the idea that if an atom was split, the amount of energy released would be so large that a chain reaction would occur—splitting the surrounding atoms, which would, in turn, split more atoms. Some scientists feared this chain reaction would not stop.
Inside of an atom are three subatomic particles known as protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons and neutrons make up the center of the atom, known as the nucleus. The electrons orbit the nucleus.
Now, scientists are still working at figuring out the dynamics behind what keeps an atom together. They know that atoms hold immense amounts of energy (which is why they lead to fiery explosions when they are split apart), and they know what happens inside of an atom. But there is still a lot more to learn.
Little did they know that a first-century Jewish missionary could have given them the answer they were looking for. In Colossians 1:17, Paul the apostle wrote, “He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (emphasis mine).
Whenever scientists get to the end of their ability to explain how things work, an unsolvable mystery awaits them that points to a creator.
If Jesus lost his divine concentration for a split second, atoms would fly apart and the universe would instantly explode. Thankfully, he is God and he has no imperfections. Perhaps Jesus will suspend his “atomic glue” momentarily during the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1, 4). In 2 Peter 3:10, we are informed that “the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
In any case, our Savior currently holds “all things” together. Jesus holds the mystery of the atomic glue. He also serves as the glue that binds Scripture together.
It is said there is a crimson thread that runs through God’s Word: a continuous story arc of a redemptive and self-sacrificing Savior, the metanarrative of the future reigning King. I have read variations of a list of each book of the Bible with descriptions of Jesus from every book. This is often called the crimson thread, or the scarlet thread of redemption. Some of these lists have unknown authors.
Using a few of them for reference, here is a modified version of my own that I would like to share:
Our Messiah: The Atomic Glue of Scripture
In Genesis, he is the promised offspring who would crush Satan’s head.
In Exodus, he is foreshadowed by the Passover lamb.
In Leviticus, he is our high priest.
In Numbers, he is our guide through the wilderness and hidden cross.
In Deuteronomy, he is the prophet like Moses.
In Joshua, he is the captain of our salvation.
In Judges, he is our judge and lawgiver.
In Ruth, he is our kinsman redeemer.
In 1 and 2 Samuel, he is our trusted prophet.
In 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, he is our reigning king.
In Ezra, he is the rebuilder of the broken-down walls.
In Esther, he is our Mordecai.
In Job, he is our prophesied redeemer.
In Psalms, he is our great shepherd.
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, he is our wisdom.
In The Song of Solomon, he is the loving bridegroom.
In Isaiah, he is the prince of peace and future king.
In Jeremiah, he is the righteous branch.
In Lamentations, he is our weeping prophet.
In Ezekiel, he is the promise-keeper and protector of his people.
In Daniel, he is the fourth man in the fiery furnace.
In Hosea, he is the faithful and forgiving husband.
In Joel, he is the necessary future judge.
In Amos, he is our burden-bearer.
In Obadiah, he is mighty to save.
In Jonah, he is our God of grace and forgiveness.
In Micah, he is the messenger of beautiful feet.
In Nahum, he is the avenger of God’s chosen ones.
In Habakkuk, he is at work behind the scenes.
In Zephaniah, he is our Savior.
In Haggai, he is the restorer of God’s lost heritage.
In Zechariah, he is the promised Messiah.
In Malachi, he is the sun of righteousness.
In Matthew, he is King of the Jews.
In Mark, he is the servant.
In Luke, he is the Son of Man—fully human.
In John, he is the Son of God—fully divine
In Acts, he is the Savior of the world.
In Romans, he is the righteousness of God.
In 1 Corinthians, he is the rock.
In 2 Corinthians, he is the triumphant one.
In Galatians, he is our liberty.
In Ephesians, he is head of the church.
In Philippians, he is our joy.
In Colossians, he is our completeness.
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, he is our future hope.
In 1 Timothy, he is our faith.
In 2 Timothy, he is our stability.
In Philemon, he is our advocate.
In Titus, he is truth.
In Hebrews, he is our perfection.
In James, he is the power behind our faith.
In 1 Peter, he is our example.
In 2 Peter, he is our purity.
In 1 John, he is our life.
In 2 John, he is our pattern.
In 3 John, he is our motivation.
In Jude, he is the foundation of our faith.
In Revelation, he is our soon-coming King.