I love a good mystery story from time to time, particularly an Agatha Christie work like the wellknown Murder on the Orient Express. It took a brilliant detective several days to reveal the murderer aboard that infamous train.
What is it about mysteries that intrigue us? It could be the challenge of solving the case before it is revealed in the story. It could be the feeling of closure when justice is given to the guilty party in the case of a murder mystery. Or it may simply be watching the brilliance of an expert detective lay out the clues and uncover the truth.
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, at the end of chapter 1, shares a mystery that God has revealed not after a period of days but thousands of years. It is His perfect plan in the perfect place and time — a mystery revealed. The beauty of this uncovered mystery is the eternal value to its beholder. Why is this mystery of Christ so hard to solve? Because God, as the author, reveals His Son only to His chosen people (v. 26). We cannot think that it was because of our intellect that we arrived at the truth of Christ. Our eyes are blind to the truth until God opens them and reveals the Savior to us. Paul speaks of this blindness, which is caused by Satan’s darkness: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4).
Now, as Christians, we face another mystery — whose eyes will God open next? Like Paul, we are called to proclaim God’s glory to the world (Col. 1:28). We do not know when, where, or how God will use us in His plan, so we must continue to share the truth of the gospel. This is accomplished through personal evangelism as well as living your life as an example of the work of Christ in you. God uses the fruits present in you to open the eyes of the unbeliever. Regarding those for whom Christ remains a mystery, be encouraged. Continue to pray that God would unveil the mystery for them, so that they too can proclaim God’s glory and enjoy the eternal benefits of Christ’s work on the cross.
John Petersen is the director of development for Ligonier Ministries.