With the holidays still fresh on your mind, take a moment to think back through a lifetime of occasions and special moments. Can you remember the gifts that touched you most deeply—the ones that planted a lump in your throat, ushered a tear from your eye, or emptied the words from your lexicon? Personally, I think of the log cabin quilt Peggy stitched for me while we were engaged and the sleeve of golf balls my son, Matthew, bought me to celebrate the first time I shot under 50 for nine holes of golf. Though these expressions of thoughtfulness had little in common with each other, love enwrapped them both
It is one thing for a kindness to melt our heart from the outside; it is an entirely different thing for a gift to become our heart from the inside. Sound too fanciful? It happened. In fact, God prepared the world for its eventuality, prophesying through Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you . . .”1 Yet as we learned in last week’s post, the mystery of the prophet’s foretelling was “kept hidden in God”2 until the chosen moment of its revealing.
Then at just the right time and in just the right place, there came the Man from God telling his small band of disciples, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven …”3 He lived perfectly and spoke powerfully; He taught authoritatively and healed amazingly; He served humbly and forgave wholly. And hours before He would be hoisted up on the executioner’s cross, He prayed to His Father on behalf of everyone who would ever believe in Him, “that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.”4
And therein, said the apostle Paul, lay “the mystery that had been kept hidden for ages and generations, but now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” For to people of every nation, wrote Paul, “God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”5 The Son of God, in whom eternal life exists is now life in us eternally; and just as “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” so also “in Christ [we] have been brought to fullness.”6
This is the long-hidden mystery of God—once concealed and now revealed: He has made us one with Himself, our lives are fully and forever enwrapped in His, and no one can ever separate us from Him. Our new heart is His heart; our new life is Christ, our sure and certain hope of glory.
Father, how deeply you must love me. Let me never be deceived into thinking anything less. Thank you for the gift of Christ in me. May I live freely and confidently in Him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Christ in me is life.
1 Ezekiel 36:26
2 Ephesians 3:9
3 Matthew 13:11 [NASB]
4 John 17:22, 23
5 Colossians 1:25-27
6 Colossians 2:9, 10
Today’s post is part two in a three-part series. Click here to read last week’s post, “The Mystery Concealed.”