For the New Testament writers, the ‘good news’ is in reality amazing news.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (1 Peter 1:10–12 ESV)
These same writers consider that the long story of intrusive grace has opened a new chapter in their time. The trajectory of this tale—whence it comes, the mysteries it transmits, the grace it continues to reveal—is only in the smallest sense know-able ahead of time. The early daughters and sons of the Jesus movement lived with a continual sense of surprise.
Yet each surprise ‘lined up’ with what had gone before.
The letter we call 1 Peter punctures any assumption that greater beings than we are understand these things comprehensively. Apparently, there is mystery even in the heavenlies.
Indeed, it would seem that human beings—as the special concern of YHWH’s redemptive tenacity—are poised to understand that redemption in a way that greater creatures cannot. Some things are barred even from the gaze of angel eyes.
Or, perhaps it is that the angels are as surprised as we are and along with us as the story unfolds, for they—with their presumed proximity to heavenly counsel—had not known that YHWH would do this … would burnish his glory in just this way … would prove himself this creative, this good, this worthy of praise.
The verb is a strong one: … ‘things into which angels long to look.’
They’ve had enough clues, these angels, to expect the outlandish, the lavish, the most laudable. They lean forward, expectantly, awaiting the turn of a cosmic page.
But this! This glory, crafted of these sufferings!
Who ever would have thought!