The mystery revealed

We like it when mysteries are solved. It’s another matter when mysteries are spoiled. Fans of the long running television series ‘Dr Who’ got excited last year when the identity of the next Doctor was revealed. It turned out to be Peter Capaldi who apparently has been a lifelong fan of the show. Since then, most people would have assumed that not much would happen until the BBC publicized the next series in the autumn. But, speculation has picked up as a result of leaks. First there were five leaked scripts posted online marked ‘private and confidential,’ with television producers expressing disappointment and making a plea that fans avoid leaking details. Then we heard of the leaking of video footage – unedited, black and white, missing special effects and heavily watermarked.

There has been a spoiling of the mystery as to Who? What? Why? When? Where? And How? Could the preview take away from the autumn viewing when the Doctor returns to our screens?

The idea of a mystery being revealed is central to the good news of Jesus Christ. The phrase ‘mystery’ is used not for something obscure or a secret ritual, but an unfolding plan for the world. The Apostle Paul used the word when describing how he was sent by God to make known the full message of how: ‘the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints’ (Colossians 1v26). The plan referred to and anticipated over centuries was the plan of redemption (rescue), which had now come through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ appearing in the world, his suffering and once for all sacrifice on the cross was how a new way of approach to God had been made. The cross provides the basis of forgiveness and makes reconciliation to the holy and almighty God possible. Although there were certain aspects that the Old Testament prophets spoke about, there were also essential details, which could only be known once revealed by God. What God had revealed was the hallmark of the new covenant: ‘to them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1v27). God himself will be personally present in the lives of His people and his presence assures them of future life with Him when He returns.

Many people have dismissed this message, but readily admit that they have never truly engaged with it before. During the holiday season can I encourage you to pick up a copy of the New Testament and read what Jesus really did and said? You can select one of the Gospel accounts online at Bible Gateway or even pick up a copy from one of our churches to discover great news.

Paul Kingman