“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10–12, AV)
Growing up as a young child, I remember the anticipation my siblings and I had. Beginning at around Thanksgiving we began thinking about Christmas. We began putting our Christmas wish list together. We let Santa know what we wanted. We had visions of the treasure-trove of gifts that would be under the tree on Christmas morning. We longed for that day to come. We could not wait. On Christmas Eve, we went to bed just anxious to get up that next morning. We were so excited that we could not sleep.
On Christmas morning, we snuck down to the top of the stairs and looked towards the front of the house. In front of the picture window was the Christmas tree. The lights were twinkling. Under that tree were a mound of gifts all wrapped up. Yet we could not go down until mom and dad got out of bed. When they did, we finally got to open the gifts and see all that we had received. Oh, how we longed every year for Christmas morning.
Peter in this section, writes about the longing that people had regarding the grace of God. He stated that the prophets who under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote about the grace of God to come. They wrote about the suffering and glorification of Jesus Christ. He stated that the prophets searched, enquired diligently regarding these things. Mainly they struggled to understand who the Christ would be and when He would come (v10-11). They understood that God would deliver and longed to know more and for that day.
He mentions the apostles who longed to communicate these truths to people and hand them down to us (v12a). They have given us the Scriptures revealing the fulfillment of what the prophets foretold in the person of Jesus Christ. They saw Him and heard Him. They experienced His glorious resurrection and ascension. Yet, while believing, they too longed for Christ’s return and to experience eternal glory.
Last, Peter speaks of the angels who desired to see the culmination of God’s grace in saving sinners (v12b). While they will not experience this grace, they long to see these things. The word translated, “look,” parakupto refers to more than a casual observation. It literally means to bend beside i.e., to lean over (so as to peer within). They have a longing to see. They rejoice when one comes to salvation, giving praise and honor to the God of all grace (Luke 15:10).
We who have believed also have a holy longing. We long to see others come to faith in Jesus. When we do, our countenance is lifted and we give glory to God. We also long for that great day of the Lord’s appearing. We know it will come. However, we do not know when. So, we also search the Scriptures to know more about that day. Yet, as much as we can understand, there is still much that we do not know. This one thing we do know is that that day will be glorious and we will experience an eternal weight of glory infinitely beyond anything we can even imagine (2 Cor 4:17).