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The greatest mystery

Do you like mysteries? As a boy, I often read “The Hardy Boys” mysteries, and the cryptic writings of Edgar Allan Poe. The suspense kept me glued to the pages trying to guess what would happen next.

But no one told me that the Bible has many mysteries, too. The teachers simply repeated the well-known stories of scripture without digging deeper into the enigmatic. Maybe they thought that seeking the mysterious would lead to heresy. And it is true that many good people have fallen off the spiritual rails and ended up preaching “another gospel” (Galatians 1:9).

But there is still room to ask, “What ever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?” The last time scripture records its actual location is in 2 Kings 23, when King Josiah brought it back to the Temple in Jerusalem. But after that, the Temple was ransacked by the Egyptians and later, by King Nebuchadnezzar. Was it hidden by the Jewish people? Did Indiana Jones find it?

Another mystery that intrigues me is the location of the Garden of Eden. We know that it was an actual place because it was near the four rivers which are named the Euphrates, Hiddekel (Tigris), the Pishon and Gihon (Genesis 2). These are mostly located between Iran and Iraq, in Mesopotamia, but the devastating Flood (Genesis 6-9) probably ravaged the geography of the area. Will it ever be found?

And there are other fascinating mysteries like where is Noah’s Ark, what year was Jesus born, what did Jesus do from birth to age 30, and what day did Jesus die? Had teachers added mysteries to their lessons, more people would have stayed interested, especially in their early years of Bible study. The study of mysteries is just one more hook to stir interest in the Scripture.

Biblical writers knew that presenting mysteries captured an audience. In the Book of Revelation, many mysteries are mentioned. Revelation 1:20 speaks of the mystery of the seven stars and the golden candlesticks. Revelation 17:5 discusses the mystery of Babylon the Great. Revelation 17:7 presents the mystery of the woman and the beast.

And then, there is the mystery of God as described by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:2-3 (NIV): “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the MYSTERY of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Christ was God’s personal and mysterious secret. While at one time this secret was hidden, now He has been revealed for all to see. Indeed, we can now proclaim that the mystery of God is Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Mystery solved!


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