1 Peter 1:8-12
8Although you have not seen* him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, 11inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated, when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look!
Going back a couple of verses, the author speaks of the great faith of the believers to whom he writes, those who love jesus even though they have not seen him, who believe in him and rejoice, with indescribable and glorious joy –
The question that comes to mind is, do we know that kind of joy? This is not happiness because everything is going the way we want – this letter is written to people who are being persecuted, by one who knows persecution. This is a deeper kind of joy, a joy of the soul – and it is a joy that results from the knowledge of God’s love, from being made whole in that love. For salvation is a word that means to be made whole.
I experienced the full impact of that love, that joy, when I accepted my calling. It was a love and a joy that overwhelmed me, made me look at everyone with new eyes, made me feel special. People on the elevator at the hospital asked what I was smiling about. I still know that joy although it is much deeper, and not quite so obvious these days.
He goes on to talk about this salvation – even the prophets knew that it was coming, but they did not know when. They prophesied through the presence of the Spirit within them that the Messiah would come. (The prophets had always been inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, but it was only through Christ that the work of the Spirit was gifted to all of us.) The author believes that even the prophets were serving not themselves, or even their own time, but those who would come to Christ, who would be a part of God’s Kingdom under Christ, and thus would know that grace, that love, that salvation.
That Good News which they, these followers of Christ, have received – that love and grace – came to them through the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven. (The concept of Trinity was not yet fully developed at the time of this writing, but the Spirit is connected here with both God and Christ; we see the concept in its beginnings here, and in the writings of John.) The revelation they receive from the Spirit is so wonderful that angels would long to see it! Think about that – you have something, Grace, Joy, a gift of the Spirit, that even the angels would love to have!