The first known published crossword puzzle appeared in the New York World in December in 1913. Arthur Wynne, a journalist who had immigrated to America from England, created the first word puzzle (called a “word-cross” at the time). By the early 1920s, newspapers across the country picked up on the new pastime. Within ten years almost all American newspapers featured crossword puzzles. It’s the most popular and widespread word game in the world. But if you want to know how to find God, what does a word puzzle have to do with that?
Many people think of the Bible as a puzzle that can’t be solved. Some verses and passages seem to contradict each other, when isolated. Others seem to be included in Scripture for no apparent reason or seem impossible to interpret.
But when we dedicate ourselves to prayerfully study the Word and open up to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, we can usually fill in answers to what puzzled us before. We see that the whole Bible fits together perfectly. Passages that we thought contradicted each other actually complement each other. We see applications for our life from Scriptures that before seemed irrelevant to us and to modern-day life.
How to Find God? Not So Puzzling
The key that unlocks the Bible is Jesus.
- He is Eve’s promised offspring who would crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head (Genesis 3).
- He’s pictured in the scarlet thread Rahab tied in her window so her life would be spared (Joshua 2).
- Every object in the Jewish Temple represented Jesus; the old laws and regulations were only shadows of the reality that would come later through his birth, ministry, death and resurrection (Colossians 2:17).
- Jesus became the perfect Passover lamb sacrificed for sin (John 1:29).
- Jesus fulfilled more than three hundred prophecies in the Old Testament about the promised Messiah.
- And the New Testament explains that Jesus reveals the Father to us. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus told one of his disciples (John 14:9 NIV).
Seeing how the Old and New Testaments fit together is more exciting than solving the most challenging crossword puzzle, because eventually we come to see that there’s a cross all through the Word. We can’t rely on a crossword puzzle when we need to know how to find God. But in the Bible, God has given us all the clues we need to know him.
Want to know how to make your own crossword puzzle, just for fun? See this how-to video:
You can also watch a four-time American Crossword Puzzle Tournament champion complete a New York Times puzzle in record time—about 2 minutes.
Are you a history buff? Love word puzzles? See the first published crossword puzzle from 1913.
© Dianne Neal Matthews ( www.DianneNealMatthews.com). Adapted from her book : One Year on This Day (Tyndale House Publishers).