“Concerning this salvation the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
1 Peter 1:10-12
The history of the world can be said to revolve around great discoveries. There are certain things that we cannot imagine living without today, which were inexistent just a few centuries ago. For example, trying to imagine a world without electricity is almost impossible for many of us, simply based on how our daily lives revolve around devices that are powered electrically. Many discoveries take years of research before a breakthrough is made, but some prove to be worth the time and effort. Well, Peter here points his audience to a discovery that took thousands of years to be completely unfolded, and when it was, it amazed even the angels!
What discovery is this, you ask? Their (and our) salvation! When writing to suffering Christians, Peter wants his readers to have a grand view of their salvation. This is because he understood that there is grace in the midst of suffering for the saint who is amazed by the weight of his/her salvation. He specifically directs them to the prophets and their prophetic work. We shall understand what he says when we consider the identity of the prophets, the inquiry of the prophets, and what was revealed to the prophets.
Firstly, consider how the Holy Spirit through his apostle Peter refers to the prophets in verse 10. They are termed as “the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours.” What an incredible statement. In other words, the chief goal of the ministry of the prophets was to point forward to the grace which we have now received! How many times have you stopped to consider that the wonderful things that Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and all the prophets were speaking about are now yours in Christ? It is worth repeating here that there is grace in the midst of suffering for the saint who is amazed by the weight of his/her salvation.
Secondly, we see the inquiry of the prophets. They worked hard to try and find out the person or time the Spirit was revealing to them when He predicted the sufferings and subsequent glories of the Christ. Notice the wonderful union between the grace we have received and the sufferings and subsequent glories of Christ. According to verse 10 and verse 11, they prophesied about the grace that was to be ours while they were prophesying about the sufferings and subsequent glories of Christ. Dear Christian, our hope is firmly secure because it is based on Jesus Christ Himself. The Second Person of the Trinity, God with us, suffered and died for us, but He was raised for us as well, and now our hope is firmly and eternally secure.
Finally, Consider what was revealed to the prophets. God showed them that they were not serving themselves, but the believers who would have the privilege of living after the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For us, we are no longer looking forward to the Savior. We get to look back at history and know with certainty that He lived, He died, He rose again, and He reigns forever! Notice also in verse 12 that the Holy Spirit who led the prophets to predict the sufferings and glories of Christ is also the One who enabled the ones who preached the good news to Peter’s audience. This is God’s commitment in salvation: He gave the prophets the prophecies, and the apostles the eye-witness accounts. And through His servants, He has given the church eternal hope for all who believe this blessed message of Christ. In Christ Jesus, we have become recipients of the “things into which angels long to look!” They must be amazed that the King on high left heaven’s throne to rescue wretched sinners like us. Indeed, glory to His name!
Do you search as carefully as the prophets did concerning this salvation that you have received in Christ? Or are you satisfied with a shallow understanding of the grace of God that has amazed even the angels?