to be envied

This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.  1 Peter 1:10-12

  

I read Peter’s words about the time of Christ’s suffering and salvation and I must simply wonder.

 

I read of prophets whom we consider with great admiration and certainly some intimidation. They were the voice of God after all! They were the only holy ones in a world of wayward and forgetful followers. But what I read from Peter in his first chapter of his first letter is that they wanted what we have seen and experienced. They wondered what we know. They longed for what we live in.

 

And the angels—yes, the angels—God’s original messengers. Those who are required, when they arrive to deliver messages, to start with reassuring words like, “Do not fear.” These ones whose very presence is so overwhelming to the humans they come to stand before, they also are interested in what we live in. They eagerly watch the things that are happening through the death and resurrection of Jesus; the things happening to us and in us.

 

I read these few words from Peter and I wonder—why are we not more amazed? Why are we not more awed?

 

Have we become like the little child who gets all he cries for and so is thankful for nothing? Are we so spoiled that we have believed our own hype? That somehow we’ve bought into the notion that we deserve what God has given. Or is it that we are so desensitized, that we have become numb to the greatness of the gift and the depth of God’s suffering on our behalf?

 

Do we not realize that our position is one that has been envied by the godly before us and anticipated by heavenly beings?

 

We stand in the midst of grace unmatched. We are swallowed up by love so perfect and so undeserved. And yet, it seems at times that our hearts barely are moved by the magnitude of it all.

 

What would our response be to trade places with the prophets? To be told of a great and heroic rescue mission, but to be told that the message of it was not for us? To be told that this rescue, this love gift, would come long after we were gone and that we would need to still live in the in-between of fallen-ness? That the redemption was to come—later?

 

Can you imagine the joy mixed with heartache? Can you fathom the hope mingling with disappointment these prophets of God must have carried?

 

Do we not realize that our position is one to be envied?

 

It has nothing to do with us. We are the recipients of unearned redemption. We stand on the fair side of grace. It does not mean that life is not a struggle. It does not mean that sin is not still our issue. But to be filled with the resurrected Christ is our joy and our identity.

 

This truth should move us and amaze us and render us speechless with delight and gratitude.

 

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