Exodus 16-18 / Matthew 18:1-20
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
We would never read a mystery novel from back to front because we would miss out on the clues that lead to a climax. Part of the enjoyment is picking up on the clues and trying to solve the mystery ourselves. The Bible is somewhat the same in that the Old Testament contains a mystery. There are great stories with many clues along the way that lead to a climax. God called Abraham; God called Moses; God gave the Law; God gave the tabernacle, the priesthood, the judges, the prophets and all the sacrifices, but where is it leading? What is it all about?
God’s revelation to us is progressive, not from half-truths to whole truths, but from promise to fulfillment. There are clues, letting us know what God’s purpose is about, and it comes to fulfillment in the New Testament. When we reach that point, we can go back to the Old Testament and all its clues. The tabernacle, sacrifices, judges, prophets and priesthood not only make sense, but come alive and as real as the New Testament, because the promise has come to fruition; the pieces all fit and we understand it.
Paul calls it a “mystery’”. In Colossians 1:25-26, he first makes a grand statement about the word of God in its fullness, and contained in that is the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. He unveils this mystery in seven remarkable words – “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is about a person – Jesus Christ; about a place – in us; and about a purpose – the hope of glory.
Our hope of attaining to any degree the glory of God, which is His moral character, is “Christ in us”. This is not imitating Jesus, but allowing Him the liberty to live His life in us. We then experience the unveiling power of His Spirit at work in our lives. Though circumstances may be difficult and painful, when we trust and depend on Christ’s indwelling Spirit, our entire perspective changes, because it is then we release ourselves from the consequences, and operate in Christ's strength, wisdom and guidance.
The great mystery Paul unveils is the remarkable incarnation of God becoming a man in the person of His son, dying on the cross and raised to life so that by His Spirit, Christ may indwell the hearts of every man, woman and child who believes in Him. God has only one thing to give us and that is His Son. “Christ in us” is the essential ingredient in the Christian life, and will be in us everything we need in attaining to the hope of glory.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, there are no words to express my gratitude in giving me the life of Your Son. Thank You for His indwelling Spirit, the only means by which we can attain to Your glory.