Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 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.
Things Into Which Angels Wish To Look
The salvation that rests upon us, covering us with God’s grace and cleaning our lives as we allow it to do its work, is something prophets preached about and angels marvel at. We so often sell such a marvel cheaply at a teen camp or simplify its implications for our children. However, adults who marvel in psychology at the complexity of humanity ought to marvel at the salvation that plumbs those depths and removes the dysfunction, anxiety, grief, and neuroses. We feel things deeply and the depth of our feelings betrays deep issues working their way to the surface from subconscious caverns we don’t know how to explore. We think profound thoughts and we make connections that surprise even us. The work of salvation redeems the whole person, the heart and the mind. It is a lifelong process. However, we can detach and lose sight of feeling and thinking – in so doing the salvation of God is blocked by us – or maybe in the true sense it never really started.
To be saved a mind has to be inquiring and open. To be saved the heart has to be transparent and shared. It is painful to take such a stance when we would rather hide ourselves. But no-one saves themselves by running into the darkness. God saves us as we understand the message of the prophets and read the words of Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit. As we allow our true selves to engage with the text we are transformed. This is no easy drill in biblical knowledge that many of us experienced in Sunday School. A mere repetition of basic facts leads to boredom and business as usual. We must understand what is said and look to its application. We must break down the complexity of passages and break ourselves down as we come to read. We must assess ourselves and have a true picture of how we are falling short of the life God has for us. Then we must bring our lives, the word of God, the work of the Spirit, and the cross of Jesus together in glorious synthesis. At that point changes break out that we are astounded by. Attitudes toward the world are changed. Relationships are healed. In short – we are saved. It is in that transformation that angels look at in wonder. How can beings who fell so far from grace be renewed each day with such transformative power. Satan snarls in a corner as those who seemed hardened like him are redeemed.
Oh God, I don’t want to be saved and yet it is my heart’s deepest desire. My ‘old self’ wishes to use its strategies to bring relief and deadness so that I sleep a pleasant sleep in this life. I want to embrace the life you have called me to, yet I fear the path that it may lead. The way of faith is marked by both preachers and martyrs. The testimony of the saints is one of joy and pain. However, they were alive. They were more alive for the breadth of thought and emotion they could endure. They were more alive because they were persistent and open. Let us be the same.
- What connection did the prophets have to salvation?
- Who did the Old Testament prophets serve?
- Into what do angels wish to look?
- How open are you to the words of the prophets transforming you?
- What is your reaction to the idea that angels look on the fact of salvation with wonder?