Paul says it’s “the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to the saints” (Col. 1:26). A secret thing of the Divine not readily available to the cognitive capabilities or the innate understanding of men and women. It’s not intuitive.
While creation reveals God’s “invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature” (Rom. 1:20), and while the heavens declare His glory (Ps. 19:1), nothing could have made known this mystery apart from God breaking the sound barrier:
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
(Matthew 3:17 ESV)
Apart from God’s illumination and revelation concerning His Son, we would have missed it. The prophets said so: “He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” In fact, apart from an intervention of the divine kind, “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isa. 53:2).
And no wonder. The Son of God, rather than making Himself known as God, didn’t consider the fullness of God a thing to be clung to and flashed around for all to see. He didn’t feel it necessary to maintain a two-fisted grasp upon His true identity and make sure that everyone knew He was equally God. Instead, divesting Himself of all heavenly glory, He came in the likeness of the people He had created, taking upon Himself the posture of a servant to all (Php. 2:6-7, Mark 10:45).
Nope, unless the Father determined to reveal the Son’s true identity, at best Jesus might have been considered but a mighty prophet. At worst, as many in fact thought of Him, He would have been deemed a servant of hell.
But that’s only part of the mystery revealed. Paul says it goes deeper. Much deeper. Like to the depths of soul and spirit! Literally!
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(Colossians 1:27 ESV)
Christ in you.
Not just Christ the image of the invisible God (1:15). Not just Christ who created all things (1:16). Not just Christ who holds all things together in Himself (1:17). Not just Christ the the victor over death (1:18). Not just Christ in whom “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (1:19). But CHRIST IN YOU!
Chew on that for few minutes.
Who would of guessed God would come in flesh. And no one would have imagined that Immanuel (Matt. 1:23), God with us, would offer Himself an atoning sacrifice for all sin for all people for all time. But that He would take up residence in us? Who’d a thunk that?!?
O’ the riches of the glory of this mystery!
I sit back, and look at this aging body in this chair and I ponder, “Christ in you.” I think about the last 24 hours, the last week, the last months and years, and all of it was encountered with “Christ in you”!
Who, apart from God Himself, could have thought this up? Who, apart from an omnipresent, triune God, could make this a reality? God on the throne, His Son at His right hand, His Spirit living in us . . . Christ in you!
O’ the wonder! O’ the blessed privilege of grace!
And this mystery is the hope of glory. Christ in you–that’s what’s sealed the deal, guaranteeing the inheritance reserved for us and yet to come (Eph. 1:13, Col. 1:22).
Do I fully get it? No.
Do I fully leverage it? No, again.
But do I fully believe it? Yes and Amen!
By His grace. For His glory.