A family hobby is to watch mystery fiction together. We love to unlock the puzzle of a Whodunit. Who will be the first to decipher the clues? Who predicts the plot twist? And, which of us becomes the detective who solves correctly? I think the appeal to us is the nature of the unknown or unexplained. Individually, we often choose to curl up with a cozy mystery book, too. Whether it be through film or novel, we love for the obscure to excite our curiosity and challenge our speculation until the very end. If a story accomplishes that, we deem it a good mystery!
Throughout Scripture, a characteristic of God is His “mystery.” The will, the thoughts, the intent, the fullness of time in His plan, and the gospel are all referred to as “the mystery.” Christ Himself is God’s mystery.
“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself…” Col. 2:2
In New Testament usage, a “mystery” is not something which cannot be known, but something once unknown and now revealed. In Christ, the revelation of redemption through His blood by the riches of His grace is made known to those who believe (see Eph. 1:7-9). Furthermore, the mystery all things united in Christ, heavenly and earthly, according to God’s plan and His timing, is revealed in the Bible (see Eph. 1:10). This mystery refers to the time of the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ. We know there will be a time that all of God’s creation will be in peace and harmony in Christ. As the popular praise songs denotes, “There Will Be a Day!”
But what then is the mystery and the excitement for the Church, for those who trust in Christ? Those in Him, rejoice that the end has been revealed. There is no speculation as to whom the Victor is or how He will return. He pierces through the clouds on a white horse with hair, white like wool, and eyes like fire. He bears a sword, the sword of judgment. He returns valiantly. Riding. The trumpet sounds and every knee bows. Creation cries out, “Jesus is Lord!” The mystery has been revealed.
And now, God continues His preparation of the Church for that Day. He fashions the bride for the Bridegroom. She is pure and without stain or blemish. She is perfected. She is holy and blameless. She has received the mystery revealed in Christ. She is washed by the blood. Those chosen before the foundation of time, remain eternally secure as God’s own possessions.
With all wisdom and insight, God makes known the mystery of His will in Christ, His perfect plan (Eph. 1:9 paraphrased). He seals believers with the Holy Spirit of promise. The price of forgiveness (mercy, grace and love) by God the Father, toward His Church, is paid for in full through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater mystery through the ages, through all eternity, than the mystery of the Gospel. “The fullness of time” has not arrived, but the mystery is known. Through Christ, redemption is possible. He will return. All things will be anew in Him. The Church, kept by the Holy Spirit, will receive glorified bodies and be untied with her Savior forevermore.
What greater “Whodunit” is found than in the God-Person of Jesus Christ? The sinless Lamb bore the marks of the greatest criminal who ever walked the face of the earth. He carried the sins of the world, the weight of everlasting punishment, as He willingly gave His life upon the cross of Calvary. Oh, what a murder scene! What a criminal, a murderer, am I! I hammered the nails into my Savior with every sin, but He cleansed me and redeemed me with no payment required by me. I am guaranteed a place at His banquet table to sup with my Lord. And He calls you to dine with Him, too. Undeserved. Unmerited. Grace.
Certainly, the greatest mystery of all time is found in Christ, my Whodunit!