As life unfolds around us, we sometimes catch a glimpse of the magnitude of something we initially thought wasn’t that big a deal.
The small spot on the ceiling; seems to be just a small discoloration . . . until you realize that the roof has a leak. That peculiar noise upon starting the car; it gets dismissed as an anomaly . . . until one morning the car won’t start at all. Those old toys you put away in the closet; one day grandchildren might play with them . . . until you come to realize that they are now priceless and collectors are interested in what you once thought were merely hand-me-downs.
I think I can err in similar fashion when I think about the Gospel. It seems easy to think of the Gospel in terms of what Jesus has done and is doing for me; as if the central focus of the good news is how it changes my life. It’s not that the grace that comes to us through Jesus doesn’t change my life, but it could be that I just don’t see how huge the Gospel really is.
Peter, in reflecting on the message about Jesus, wrote:
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. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look. ~ 1 Peter 1:10–12
We’ve already touched on the wonder of this message preached in an earlier post. But in listening carefully to Peter’s words there is something else to be seen: the magnitude of the Gospel.
Peter wrote that message had “been announced” to his readers “through those who preached the gospel to you.” That is the same for those who read Peter’s words today and who have responded to that message. Those who have heard and responded are in view. But what else is in view with regard to the Gospel?
This salvation, Peter wrote, was what prophets foretold. This message is what the Spirit has been weaving into the unfolding plan of God for centuries. This good news that we have heard and responded to declares Jesus’ entrance into the world, His sacrifice, and “the glories to follow.” And this salvation conveyed in the Gospel announcement has “angelic repercussions.” What is implied in these words is that the Gospel is cosmic, massive, eternal in its implications and impact.
Sitting in my living room, reading a bit of Scripture, praying a little, I don’t typically think that I am tapped into something cosmic, massive, eternal. My vision and view are all too often circumscribed by what I will encounter today, in my limited circle of influence. But the truth is that stepping into the Gospel, responding to that message, means that I am entering into the flow of a God-orchestrated, Spirit-led, Jesus-glorifying river that has been flowing for centuries and will continue to flow into eternity.
There is something huge going on in the universe–something God is undertaking to do for His own glory. And our response in faith to that proclamation brings us into that cosmic, massive, eternal work.