[… in relation to Jesus Christ] who, even though you haven't seen Him [eyeball to eyeball], you love, and even though you are not gazing upon Him you believe in Him, so thoroughly glad you are with a joy beyond words, having been so fully respected, you are [now] taking up the purpose of your faith, the complete rescue of your life. It was of this [complete rescue] that the prophets were so earnestly searching and about which they made their enquiries, as to just who was to benefit from the bequest which has now become yours, this being what their prophecies were all about. And so, having searched incessantly for the circumstances and the time which the Spirit of Christ had made clear to them, they were witnessing beforehand to the sufferings of the Christ and to these subsequent splendid outcomes. It was revealed that their inquiry into these things was not to serve themselves but you, since it is to you that these very same things have now been decisively disclosed by those who brought the evangel to you in the power of the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven, and it is of these things that angels so dearly want to catch a glimpse… .
You're now fully a part of this story, says Peter. This is the amazing truth that has been the purpose of your Creator and Redeemer from the outset until the time He has determined, the time when He decides to bring all things to their completion. That's in his hands. So, what then is your brief?
Yes, he says, your joy is so full it is overflowing. And yet, unlike us you did not walk with Jesus. Unlike you, we were privileged to gaze upon Him after His resurrection. And here you are, so thoroughly caught up in the purposes God has established for all of this. This is nothing other than the initial stages of the complete rescue of life in its entirety. It is none other than what you have already believed by putting your trust in Jesus Christ, the resurrected Son of God. In this, Peter affirms, we are completely one community of faith, brought together in one family, by our Father in heaven.
Now, says Peter, to his readers, note this carefully. Don't neglect it. This is what the prophets foretold. This is indeed about the Hope of All Ages, the One who rescues all peoples and all nations. The prophets sought diligently and repeatedly. They wanted to know where it was all headed, where it was all going to end up. And you know what? It has now come down to you. You are the ones who bear this message of the rescue of all things as you go about your lives as it takes root and flourishes as the full status of God is unveiled in the magnificence of His creation on displayed throughout the whole wide world.
What Peter says here is of momentous significance for the self-image of these dispersed and sojourning believers. You are the ones to whom the prophets were making inquiry! The nations shall hear; indeed they shall and you living in their midst have now heard. The ends of the earth shall indeed redound in praise to the Lord Almighty for His marvellous works, for that is what the Lord has purposed, what your sojourning is all about. And that now, dear friends, is none other than your deep and inexpressible joy beyond all words.
The prophets were not speaking about themselves. They were not prophesying in order to confirm to themselves that they were the ones who would historically greet the fulfillment of God's redemptive purposes. The purpose of their bringing the Word of the Lord in their time of prophetic witness, has now been decisively disclosed, and it has come to you with exactly the same Holy Spirited guidance that they received in their forth-telling. This Good News is about the complete rescue which was further poured out when it came to you from those who proclaimed Jesus Christ's evangel. And now as His family you are to live in the midst of this world with this expectation!
And all of God's holy messengers, standing ready to do His bidding, are simply lining up and straining to get a glimpse of this most wonderful sight, to see you prevailing in the power of God's Spirit as you live, as you come through these many test, as gold refined through the fire, and with His commendation stand where He now blesses you with His splendour coming down upon you, until finally His splendour is fully unveiled. Indeed that will be the fulfillment of the blessing that rests upon you now, the blessing of our Lord, Jesus Christ.