As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. (1 Peter 1:10–11)
The Christian pilgrimage is a pathway of ever increasing illumination to the glories of Christ, the Author and Person of our salvation. A lively hope is the possession of every believer through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. God’s people are kept by God’s own power. Our hold on Him is feeble but His hold on us is infinitely all-powerful. One day the fullness of His salvation will be unveiled. We shall behold the One whom we have not seen. The incorruptible, pure, non-fading inheritance of Christ shall be rejoiced over with joy unspeakable and full of glory. May the LORD Jesus Christ hasten that Day!
The Old Testament prophets diligently sought out the full comprehension of this salvation. They combed the Scripture, earnestly seeking the LORD for understanding. Even though the LORD revealed His Word to them and they wrote under inspiration, they did not fully comprehend the Person and salvation of the Christ. They saw faintly the glory of Christ. At the same moment they saw dimly other scripture testifying to the suffering of Christ. When was this to occur? What circumstances would surround both the glory and the sufferings of Christ? How can we reconcile a suffering Saviour and a glorious One? In His Wisdom, God choose to reveal these things to us (I Peter 1:12). A privileged people we are!
For hundreds of years it was the LORD’s intent for His people to hold these truths in tension: the suffering and the glory of Christ. However, Israel’s mistake can become the Church’s mistake if we are not watchful. Israel brought themselves to the place where they only saw the glory of the Glorious but failed to see the glory of the Suffering One. They maximized the promises of glory and brought to nothing His sufferings. The outworking of this was that Israel believed that they could sin before the face of the LORD without the fruit of chastening. Didn’t the promises of God concerning their future proclaim glory? Surely the Lord will not chasten. We have the Temple of His Presence!
Today we hear much of the desire of revival (i.e., glory). We reach into the bag of promises (certain promises to be sure) and proclaim a present and future glory for the church. There is a cry of peace, peace. Yet God’s professing people sin with brazenness before the LORD. We rest on the promises of glory while neglecting and possibly denying the promises of chastening. Israel could not sin with a high hand resting on the promises of glory, neither can the church. Great is His faithfulness, to both His promise of blessing and the promise of desolation.
Suffering must precede glory. Our forerunner, Jesus Christ pioneered this way. Courting the world’s favor in order to avoid the sufferings of Christ only brings chastening. Brethren, we are possessors of sought-after illumination. Therefore, As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (I Peter 1:14-16).