If you haven’t heard about it, you soon will. Thanks to a stirring evangelistic message now out as a video, the word about something called "laminin" is spreading like wildfire. Pastor and evangelist Louie Giglio, founder of Passion Conferences and Choice Ministries has delivered an electrifying message, now out on DVD. Through an amazing confluence of events, Louie Giglio met a molecular biologist, who gave him a vital piece of information about the construction of living tissue.
The biologist told him about laminin, a protein that performs the function of a glue, by which the structural matrix of living tissue is held together. Remarkably, this molecule is in the shape of a cross!
Why is it called laminin? This fibrous protein is present between the thin plates, or stacked layers of tissue, called "lamina," from the Latin, meaning "thin parallel layers." In English, we have the words "laminar," or "laminate," meaning "layered."
To the Christian, the discovery that living tissue is held together by something shaped like a cross is a stunning reminder of several basic biblical truths. Among preachers, there is an old saying, loudly exclaimed when one discovers an outstanding biblical truth: "That’ll preach!"
As an external, objective truth, the Cross has been preached the world over. But to see it as an internal truth, vital to life itself, is to bring Christ to a whole new level in the human dialogue. Among other things, it addresses the current heated dialogue about "intelligent design." Darwin could never have envisioned the microscopic perfection that characterizes life at the cellular level.
The Man on the Cross was, after all, the Creator. To believers, the Cross was not merely an instrument of state execution, it was an instrument of life, and it began with the incarnation:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4).
The Word was incarnated in human flesh to bring life to a dying world. With great care and specificity, John points out that He created everything, and that nothing exists unless He brought it into existence.
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
"And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Col. 1:14-17).
Here, the word "consist," is translated from the Greek, sunestemi. In Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Greek, it is defined as, "to stand with or fall together, to be constituted, to be compact; it is said of the universe as upheld by the Lord" (p. 230).
Vine’s words are almost prophetic as we consider the insights implicit within the cross-shaped substance that glues living tissue together. Pastor Giglio was also quick to draw this insight and to bring its truths to awe-inspired audiences across the country.
As we have written elsewhere, the present state of the cosmos is characterized by decay and dissipation. Sin has ravaged it from one end to the other. Biblically, this state is referred to as "death." All systems, whether organic or inorganic, are subject to the devastation brought by the sin of the Old Serpent, and by Adam.
It was necessary that the Creation be changed at the most basic level. The Cross was the mediating element of this change. In Colossians, following the section quoted above, the following verses explain what was done:
"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled" (Col. 1:18-21).
Here, the word "reconcile" is used to illustrate the function served by the Cross. Though we have written before on this subject, it’s worth repeating in the present context. It is one of the most powerful words in the Bible, from the Greek apokatallasso, meaning "to completely change something, from one thing or state into another."
As used in classical Greek, it can refer to the changing of currency from one country to another. But it can also refer to cultural change from one condition to another, to remove all hostility and leave no barrier to unity and peace. It can also apply to geophysical systems, like the Sun, Moon and stars (the cosmos), or biological systems, all of which are now subject to entropy – increasing disorder in a system caused by random errors in transmitting information from one generation to the next.
The Bible is vigorously explicit about this condition, when it predicts that the Earth and its environs will one day encounter violent change during the Day of the Lord, which will restore the things ravaged by sin. The Cross is literally the mechanism that has instituted this change. As Paul writes, this is true both "in earth," and "in heaven." And now, thanks to the discovery of laminin, it is also seen to be true at the miscropic levels of activity within living organisms!
A Psychotropic Drug
Something horrible happened when Eve, then Adam ate a certain fruit that had been strategically placed in the Garden of Eden. The name of this tree included the word "knowledge." By this, we can tell that ingesting its fruit had something to do with the thinking process, as we understand it at the human level. To eat of this fruit and to incorporate its organic chemistry into the body, made radical and unalterable changes at the microscopic level.
When the first couple ate it, something enormous took place in their bodies. They lost the glory that had covered their nakedness. They became self-aware in a way that disturbed them. And they feared the appearance of God. Sadly, they began to die. Their bodies, designed to live eternally, now began to waste away, just as God had warned Adam:
"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:15-17).
To see living tissue held together by something shaped like a Cross – laminin – is to understand that the Cross was the remedy for a dying humanity, as well as a dying cosmos. As is written in Colossians, the Cross utterly changed everything … from a state of dying into a state of living. We remember one simple sentence that places all its majesty into the personal context:
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14).
Finally, we remember the Cross in the moving words that introduce the book of Hebrews:
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:1-3).
Once again, we see that Scripture views the Son as both Creator and sustainer. When the writer says, "he made the worlds," he is really saying that He made the eons, the ages! Entire systems are in view here. To create an age is to create a beginning, a complex set of interactions and a direction toward some end.
Here, the Son is shown to be the very person of God, who came into this world age as Creator. His "word" or proclamation, is the very essence of power. And most interesting of all, when the above scripture says that He is "upholding all things," it uses the Greek word, phero, meaning "to bear, to carry or to uphold."
In the mythology of the ancient Greeks, one of the Titans, Atlas, was said to personify strength and endurance. Once, he led a rebellion against Zeus, father of the gods. But he failed, and was condemned to bear the burden of the heavens upon his shoulders. He was sentenced to the burden of turning the heavens on their axis, day after day.
In their own, ignorant way, the Greeks were trying to picture astronomical truths in a way that made some sense to them. Of course, they missed the mark, but they were very close to being right about one thing: There is a burden bearer who both created and maintains the awesome systems that we are only now beginning to appreciate, given phenomenal instruments, such as the Hubble Space telescope, that has recently given us a hint at the true glory that is God.
And now, moving from the telescopic to the microscopic, we see the same marvels of creation in the structure of laminin. Suddenly, we come to the truth that He is the living Word, who spoke all things into creation. Then, His essence became imbedded in the Creation, so that anyone with eyes to see, can obtain visual proof of His grand design … of His very presence!