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Sufferings and Glories Revealed

“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)

We are broken people living in a broken world, and the sad reality for us is that our path in life will involve suffering. It’s been like that ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. And ever since that fall into sin, people have been yearning for salvation.

That salvation was promised by God even before Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15) A Savior would come. Eve may even have believed that Cain was that Savior, as she says literally in Genesis 4:1, “I have gotten a man—the Lord. (NASB margin) Of course, Cain was not the Savior. The Savior would come, but when? What would be the circumstances?

God’s Old Testament people yearned to know the answers to these questions. As the Old Testament moves along, we follow the history of God’s people and can see that it was not merely aimless wandering. God was moving His people toward that ultimate goal of the redemption of humankind. Along the way, God sent to His people prophets who would reveal more and more information about how this redemption would come about—and Who this Savior would be. As the prophets recorded God’s Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they too longed for the coming Savior. They testified that this Savior would have to suffer but that this suffering would lead to glory.

The prophets of old didn’t live to see their prophecies fulfilled, but the people to whom Peter was writing had seen that fulfilment. And so have we. We might wonder why God, in His wisdom, took so long to send the Savior. We don’t know the answer to that question. We simply trust God when He tells us that Jesus came at just the right time (Galatians 4:4-5). But look at what we have as a result of God’s waiting to send Jesus. We have hundreds of prophecies throughout the Old Testament about the coming Savior, and we have the privilege of seeing every single one of them perfectly fulfilled by Jesus. The amazing accuracy of the Old Testament predictions of “ the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (verse 11)is astounding proof that we have, in the Scriptures, the very Word of God.

Just like Peter and his original audience, we have seen the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—the Savior promised long ago. In our day, with all our suffering, we have something that many who lived before us didn’t have. We have the complete revelation of God in Christ in the Bible, preserved and given to us by His Holy Spirit.

Yes, we live in hard days. We endure suffering. But we also rejoice in our suffering because we know that God has saved us, and we know the glory that awaits us. This isn’t just a vague prediction. It’s a signed, sealed, and delivered promise, guaranteed by the blood of Jesus and His resurrection.

Robert Sauers is pastor of Luther Memorial Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions