“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure ” Ephesians 1 :9
Life is filled with mystery.
Nature itself is a mystery. We see this all around us and in our own lives. It takes many forms, all related to the mystery of our very existence. Though he was the most famous scientist of his time, Albert Einstein knew we could never fully understand the workings of the world within the limitations of the human mind. Experiencing the universe as a harmonious whole, he encouraged the use of intuition to solve problems, marvelled at the mystery of God in nature.
If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance—whatever name we give him—Creator or God—escapes all book knowledge. Because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. It only limits creation and our understanding.
The mysteries of life represent the frontier where our lives create a mosaic of colour we cannot control, cannot comprehend and cannot manage or contain. Faced with the mysteries of life we become vulnerable, undefended, open to the marvels that can fill us with the liberating uncertainty of wonder.
It reminds of a song I used to sing. The first verse went like this
Many are the things I cannot understand, All above me mystery I see; But the gift most wonderful from God’s own hand Surely is his gift of grace to me!
For those like myself who have called upon the name of Jesus and are saved and are now followers of the living Lord, our relationship with Christ is the greatest mystery of all.
Christ’s whole life is a mystery. From the baby in a manger to His death on Calvary and the glory of His Resurrection, everything in Jesus’ life was a sign of His mystery. It is only through the understanding of the mystery of Christ: His life, His actions, His words, the signs worked by Him, as well as growing in communion and intimacy with Him that we may share in life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is only Jesus Christ who can lead us to the love of the Father through the Holy Spirit
We learn from Jesus that new life comes from death. We learn that all life has this rhythm of dying and rising and that God is with us in good times and in bad. Christ’s experience of suffering, death, and new life has forever changed us and given us a different way of living. Death no longer has the last word. When we encounter tough times, we have the comfort of knowing that God has “been there, done that” and the power of hope that new life will come from death. Becoming conscious of our own dying and rising helps us have a greater sense of compassion for others and a greater willingness to reach out.
What makes something a mystery is that it is hidden from the efforts of the human mind to analyse, categorise and understand everything. Mysteries defy any kind of mental classification. They point to a reality that is beyond our mental and physical grasp
Yet Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging out there – lost, confused, not-knowing. Jesus was also called our teacher. Throughout the New Testament, we are told specifically in the Gospel to listen to Jesus, “this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5). He is the one “Teacher”, who was always teaching everywhere and, teaching in a manner and with an authority previously unknown. Even Jesus gave witness to Himself in the Gospel that day after day, He sat in the temple teaching (Matthew 26:55).
That teaching stills goes on today as we spend time praying and reading His Word. In His own gentle but determined way he reveals the mysteries, according to His good pleasure that we encounter and thing we may not understand. It is done at His pace, at His rhythm, and in line with our faith and what He wants to teach us in the particular season we are in. As we are taught by Christ our understanding always demands a response in obedience to becoming closer to and more intimate with Him.
We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and His mysteries for this is His plan for fulfilling His mysteries in us.