Christ Crucified – A Heavenly Visitation

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 1 Pet. 1:10-12
One day, my wife and I were recalling a certain man of God, well known the world over through his ministry who, a few years back, had graced our annual CTMI (www.ctmi.org) conference in Mauritius.
My wife asked me, “Did you ever hear of that man again?”
I answered, “No.”
“You mean he never came back again?” she persisted.
“I think so”, I said.
The significance of what we had just spoken sank deep into us and we both fell silent. It dawned on us that this man had been unable to grasp the import of the gospel of the cross. It dawned on us even further how difficult and, in some cases, how downright impossible it is for the great men of God in this world to see in the Spirit “Jesus Christ, and him crucified”.
Scripture tells us that the prophets of old “enquired and searched diligently… of the grace that should come to”… us!
The prophets of old were great men in the Spirit. They saw and heard in the Spirit that “which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Cor. 12:4).
Moreover, these men performed great and powerful miracles in the Name of the Lord. These were truly powerful men in the Spirit. Also, they underwent some of the most severe sufferings in order to bring God’s vision to fruition in our lives. And yet these men and women were denied the right to understand or experience the grace that is ours today. What a powerful realization!
But that is not all. God’s Word tells us something even more awe-inspiring about the grace that is ours today:
“…which things the angels desire to look into”.
Angels are heavenly spiritual beings. They are unparalleled in power and might and wisdom. But here the Bible declares that they long to “look into” the grace that we are experiencing today.
What does scripture mean by “angels desire to look into”?
It means that God’s holy angels desire to understand, or experience the grace that can be found in the crucified life. This understanding makes us to realize that the crucified life the highest manner of life that can be lived on earth and in heaven. That is why Jesus is so exalted, because He was able to live the crucified life.
The revelation of a crucified life is the privilege that God has reserved for all who will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an indescribable privilege to be able to understand “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” Herein, in the crucified life, lies the measureless grace of God in its entirety, and God’s glory also (1 Pet. 1:11).
That is why the Apostle Paul declares that when he went to the Corinthians, he “determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)
Why should he? Paul had seen in the Spirit the glory of this privilege, and he was not about to play games with it.
But this is also a glory that has bypassed the great men and women of God in this world. For only the humble in heart can experience the crucified life and the grace and the glory to be found therein.
The Apostle Peter therefore shows those of us who have seen this glory of the crucified life and who have allowed themselves to be under the hand of God the great responsibility that we have:
“13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Pet. 1:13-17).

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