One of my earliest memories is visiting the hospital to see my new baby brother. In the hospital corridor was a glass window too high for me to peek through. Straining on my toes, I tried to catch a glimpse of my baby brother sleeping. My father saw my problem and lifted me up so that I could see. How exciting that moment was!
Now we realise all of Scripture was written to help us love and trust God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In a similar way, there is excitement in Peter's voice as he describes the way the Old Testament prophets were straining to see more of the Messiah, even as they prophesied about Him.
The prophets realised their message was about God's grace (1 Peter 1:10), the wonderful grace which is a theme running through 1 Peter. Prophets like Isaiah knew God would save through a Messiah (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). The Messiah would suffer and yet be glorified (1 Peter 1:11). But they struggled to know much of the ″when″ and ″exactly how″ in the glimpses that God gave them several centuries before the Messiah's arrival.
Now, we are privileged to see clearly what earlier generations were straining to see. We are blessed with not one, but four Gospels which excitedly testify about when and how the Messiah came. The prophets provided the sketch of a Person, but Peter and the other apostles got to see and touch, to know and love, and then to testify about that glorious embodiment of God's grace-the Lord Jesus.
Notice also that Peter says that it was the ″Spirit of Christ″ (v. 11) who pointed the prophets towards an understanding of Jesus. And it was the same ″Holy Spirit″ (v. 12) who directed and empowered the apostles' preaching. Both the fulfilment of the prophets' message and the Spirit's revealing work help us to see the certainty and wonder of Scripture. God's ancient promises are wonderfully and divinely met in the life, death, and resurrection of God's Son. Now we realise all of Scripture was written to help us love and trust God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
To the people receiving Peter's letter, certainty about Jesus was vital because they were enduring persecution for believing in Him. They needed to be assured of the truth of the gospel. They needed to know their suffering was worth it.
The marvellous news is that this gospel is the true grace of God! So let us stand fast in it (5:12).