Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Mystery Revealed - Jesus

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

The mystery
. Throughout the Old Testament God hides and only reveals the “backside” of Himself to a few, while the rest must watch as an animal is savagely drained of its blood, twitching and squealing. God will hide in a bush and in an ark and even in a donkey, but He will not, perhaps cannot, unveil Himself to a fallen and rebellious race - not just yet. Israel must be content to see God through commandments of stone, and sometimes in fire and smoke, but never face to face. Moses came as close to meeting God as anyone had, but even He met a vision that had a passing glory, but even that limited vision adorned the face of Moses with a residual glory that would blind other humans. But it still remained shrouded in mystery.

The mystery continues. Who was this God? What was He like? Was He the tender story of Solomon’s Song or was He the fierce warrior that wiped out entire cities? Was He the still, small voice or was He the consuming fire? Was He the life giver or the life taker? Was He the healer or did He send plagues? And while that mystery continued the children of Israel molded their God into one that contained their own imaginations and desires. And by the time the Romans conquered the world the God of the Jews had only a very slight resemblance to the God of Jacob.

The mystery speaks. But throughout the Old Covenant men of God spoke prophetic visions that would later be recognized as facets of this mystery. A king, a servant, a seed, a plant, and a host of other descriptive visions were spoken that many times seemed incongruous with each other. And by the time the days of Caesar arrived Israel had forgotten many of those spoken revelations.

The mystery arrives. In a little town just south of Jerusalem, in an animal shelter, a son of Judah is born. No mystery here, or is there? How could a boy born to a peasant girl be associated with any mystery? Where is the mighty Messiah from the Tribe of Levi? No one’s ears were inclined toward Bethlehem, and no one recognized a maiden of Judah as having a glorious part of this mystery. The angels, the shepherds, and Mary herself are granted this holy knowledge. The mystery, disguised as an infant, has arrived.

The mystery announced. And at the back end of hundreds of years of divine silence and spiritual decay, a voice lifts itself above the lifeless drone of dead expectations and spiritual ritualism and shouts, “Prepare the way of the Lord!!”. A nobody arrives, draped in animal skins and dining with a barbaric menu, and he proclaims the coming of the Lord. He assumes authority as he exhorts men to repent and cleanse their hearts. And along side of his boldness and spiritual authority, he confesses to the coming of One from which he is not even worthy to unlatch His sandals. What kind of man is this, and what kind of “One” is coming??

The mystery anointed. People are coming to repent and be baptized in their repentance. But suddenly, this John the Baptizer, lifts his eyes to the line that awaits baptism and he sees the “One” about which he spoke. “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!” What? About what Lamb is he speaking? I see no one carrying a lamb to be sacrificed. And when this “One” comes face to face with John, John humbly confesses unworthiness. This “One” submits to John’s baptism, and God anoints Him from heaven and calls Him His Beloved Son. What a scene. What an event. The mystery is now anointed.

The mystery has been spoken, and has arrived, and has been anointed, but as yet the mystery has not been revealed. He walks, this mystery, among men and as a man. He does wonderful miracles and shows uncommon love and compassion. His words are like fire and draw sinners to His side. But this mystery is still hidden, except to a very small few. Even Peter, who by the Spirit speaks His name, is severely limited in his knowledge of the mystery and His mission.

There were times that the mystery attempted to reveal Himself to others. Many times He would say “I am”, and even pronounce that He came before Abraham. He even said that whoever saw Him saw the Father God. But no one really understood, and many more were offended by His words. For thirty-three years He remained a mystery. So how would God reveal this mystery to mankind? Would He gather the earth and sit this mystery upon a throne and pronounce Him King? Would God surround Him with unspeakable glory and introduce Him as God Incarnate?

No, the Father had prophetically outlined how He would reveal the mystery to mankind in the life of Abraham. God’s instruction to Abraham concerning Isaac was not just some divine amusement, but thousands of years later the Holy Spirit would shine His illumination upon that narrative and believers would see clearly God’s eternal plan. The Messiah was revealed as Isaac's prophetic reflection. But from Adam to John the Baptist the revelations were mere facets and pieces and shadows. But now all those shadows and pieces came together and were manifested in Jesus. Jesus is the one and only revealed mystery, and those who have embraced Him have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and we now see clearly - the mystery called Jesus is and always was the God of all creation.

This Jesus, this mystery, is now revealed. Through God’s Word, through the Holy Spirit, and through believers, this Jesus is revealed again and again. The heavens shout His Name, and the angels worship this Risen Christ. There is none like Him and He alone is worthy of every scintilla of human praise. He has created everything and all who believe will return to Him. The world seeks to answer this mystery with longevity of life, intellect and knowledge, money and riches, power and success, and all sorts of religious constructs from the imaginations of men. God will not share His glory with another, and without Jesus all religions are worthless, hollow, and eternally dead. Jesus alone is the mystery they seek.

But if you desire to see the uncovered glory of this divine mystery, you need not look through a telescope and see the celestial splendors. You do not have to understand the wonders of medicine or the unfathomable architecture of the atomic world. Do not look at Mt. Everest, or the vastness of the Pacific, or the breathtaking sights of nature's creations.

If you desire to see the glory of this mystery in all its august and colossal majesty, then just slowly walk up a small hill just outside of Jerusalem and lift up you poor eyes and gaze at the Lamb as He expires for you. Sinner, you need look no further…the mystery has been revealed to you.


Josef Sefton said...

Thank you, Rick, for a very interesting article.

How blessed we are for, Jesus is the mighty Messiah from the Tribe of Levi!

Let's exhort our fellowmen and women to repent and cleanse their hearts. Let us also desire to utter the words in our heart and in our mouth, Behold, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, that takes away the sins of the world!

Praise be unto God, for God's eternal word, Jesus, always has been the God of all creation and truly God’s eternal plan can been seen in Jesus, God incarnate and risen.

Let's also join with the obedient angels and worship the Risen Christ. Truly there is none like the good shepherd of our soul and He alone is worthy of pure praise, for He has created everything and all who believe in Him because of His perfect redeeming sacrifice will return joyfully to Him.

Rick Frueh said...

Amen, Josef.

(Jesus was from the tribe of Judah.)

Josef Sefton said...

Thank you, Rick, for the correction. You are right, Jesus was from the tribe of Judah! How careless of me not to pay more attention to the name of your website and Holy Bible teaching!