May 26 2021
Today, Wednesday May 26
“The Glory of This Mystery” Colossians 1:26-27 “The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
In the Old Testament the Jews, the nation of Israel had the wonderful privilege of literally having the very presence of Jehovah dwell in the midst of their camp as they traveled through the wilderness. God’s Shekinah Glory, in the form of a fire by night and a pillar of a cloud by day, would hover over the tabernacle that everyone could see and experience! Later when Solomon completed the Temple in Jerusalem, the same Shekinah Glory of Jehovah filled the temple.
Now in the New Testament the Apostle Paul is unveiling something that was hidden in the Old Testament. The tabernacle was gone, and the present temple in Jerusalem, that had been rebuilt, no longer had the glory of Jehovah in it or on it. The Jews thought they had a “corner” on Jehovah and basically the rest of the world, the Gentiles had no right or access to Him.
Jesus Christ came to earth, was rejected by His people, and was crucified. He arose again and returned to heaven. Did this mean that God's promised kingdom for Israel was now abandoned? No, because God had initiated a new program—His mystery—that was not explained by the Old Testament prophets. The mystery is that today God is uniting Jews and Gentiles in the church (Ephesians 2:11-22).
Imagine what this message meant to the Gentiles. They were no longer excluded from the glory and riches of God's grace! During the Old Testament dispensation, a Gentile had to become a Jewish proselyte in order to share in the blessings of Israel. But in the new dispensation, Jews and Gentiles alike are saved by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:12-13). No wonder the Jewish false teachers opposed Paul. He dared to say, "There is no difference!"
We who have grown up in somewhat Christian surroundings have a tendency to take all of this for granted. But think of the excitement this message must have generated in a church composed of new believers who had no background in the church.
Once they were outside the covenants of God, but now they were members of His family. Once they were living in spiritual ignorance and death, but now they were alive and sharing in the riches of God's wisdom in Christ. Once they had no hope, but now they had a glorious hope because Christ now lived within!
It would be good for us today to recapture some of that "first love" excitement.