Do you realize that on Good Friday they killed the truth?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Yet, we know that the truth came back! Jesus came out of the tomb, showed Himself to many and is alive to this day. The point is that no matter the evil forces coming against the truth, the truth “bounces back” and cannot be kept down.
Today it is the same. Truth is denounced at every hand. The crowds may holler in favor of unrighteousness – like they did for Barabbas – but God’s truth cannot be suppressed for long! The Bible teaches this throughout, holding forth the ultimate hope of victory over sin and death – including its roots in lies and deception. Jesus is indeed “the way, the truth, and the life”.
The Bible also teaches that we should not be surprised at the depth of depravity of mankind. We read, “For…men… hold the truth in unrighteousness…and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man… and changed the truth of God into a lie” (Romans 1:18-25).
Note in these famous texts that mankind has “changed” both “the glory” and “the truth”. They go together. “Glory” is synonymous with splendor and gorgeousness, brilliance and beauty. So the truth of God is correlated in the Scriptures to the resplendent beauty, the glory of God. And Jesus is that divine personification of truth and beauty.
Philosophers, poets and theologians have noted the link between truth and beauty. The poet John Keats famously and simply put it in his “Ode to a Grecian Urn”:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Lies, on the other hand, are ugly. Deceit is ugly. Sin is ugly. Thankfully, the judgments of our Lord are “true and righteous altogether”, and He is, thus, thoroughly glorious and brilliantly beautiful! He has marked His creation with the elegant and exquisite touch of beauty everywhere – in a profound proliferation of harmony in shape and sound and color that is at the same time magnificent and mysteriously intriguing so as to win our fascination and admiration.
Flowers blooming all around, leaves budding from the trees, and birds singing in the breeze. The sights and sounds of spring remind us again of the wonderfully refreshing beauty of God’s creation! But what forms and functions define beauty and the harmonious order which make things pleasant to look at and listen to? Philosophers have wondered about this for ages. Nature is full of a very pleasant beauty and harmony tied together by a mathematical order that is both elegant and mysterious.
We have written previously about how the ancient Greeks proposed what later became known as the “Golden Mean”, or the “Golden Ratio”, and still later as the “Divine Proportion”. The Golden Ratio can be used to draw Golden Spirals, Golden Rectangles and Golden Triangles, defining many forms and shapes in nature of what we consider beautiful in this world. The ratio is the famous irrational number (continuing infinitely) known as Phi, ϕ , 1.6180339887…. Its inverse ratio – the “Golden Section” – just happens to be 0.6180339887…, which is the exact same number to the right of the decimal. And its square, Phi2, is equal to 2.6180339887…, with the same infinite numeration to the right of the decimal. No wonder the Greek mathematicians found it mysterious and intriguing!
The Golden Ratio is actually defined mathematically by a particular sequence of whole numbers called the Fibonacci Series, after Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci who wrote about it in 1202 AD. The series, beginning from the origin, is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377… on to infinity. It is formed by adding two adjacent numbers in the series in order to get the next number: 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, etc. And the ratio of any two adjacent numbers converges to the Golden Ratio – which means that the further out in the series you go, the more precise the value of Phi. For example, 13/8 = 1.625 and 377/233 = 1.618025.
Why would a series of numbers formed from the addition of adjacent numbers work out in such a way as to give this mysterious beauty-defining Golden Ratio? And why would the Fibonacci numbers themselves be so important and beautifying and harmonizing in nature, such as being so prevalent in the human form as well as in music? It is because our great Creator knew what He was doing and set it up that way! Our Creator arguably left us with a profound foreshadowing of His great and beautiful purpose of redemption in calling out the bride of Christ, His Church! “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31-32). The addition of two “intimate” numbers is a picture of the addition of two “intimate” persons!
Interestingly, you can add any two sequential numbers together and develop a Fibonacci-type series where all numbers in the series are the sum of the two preceding numbers, and their ratio will also converge to the Golden Ratio! For example, starting with 5 and 6 we would get 5, 6, 11, 17, 28, 45, 73, 118, 191, 309, 500, 809…. The ratio of 118/73 = 1.616 and of 500/309 = 1.6181…. No matter what two numbers we begin with, the ratio of two successive numbers in ALL of these Fibonacci-type sequences always approaches a special value – the Golden Ratio, 1.6180339887.
There apparently is a special harmonizing and beautifying principle tucked into the addition of two adjacent whole numbers to form the next one. But starting with the origin itself, we get the perfected analogy. God, who is the Origin that has no origin, the uncaused Cause, created Adam. Then from Adam’s side, the Bible tells us He created Eve (0+1). Then those two, Adam and Eve, became “one flesh” to make the next person (1+1). And the rest is the history of the human race, populating the earth in an ongoing series where “intimate” males and females add together their individual sets of chromosomes to get the next person. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34….
The amazing beauty and marvels of Creation should indeed remind us and teach us of God. “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen…” (Romans 1:20a). Though mankind has “changed [or even horribly deformed] the truth of God into a lie” (Romans 1:25a), as we noted earlier, the truth returns. It comes back victorious!
At Creation Moments, we thank you for rejoicing with us in the triumph of our glorious God and Christ, and for laboring with us to make known to others the awesome marvel and wonder of Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life”!
Author: Mark Cadwallader, Board Chairman Creation Moments
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