The Enigma Of Christ
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1Corithians 13:12)
The word “dimly” is also “darkly.” It comes from the Greek word “ah’ee-nig-ma” which is where we get the word “enigma.” Enigma, in this sense is someone or something mysterious, puzzling, even a quandary.
In light of this interpretation, we are often left with the impression that we are an unsolved mystery, as though our true identity is yet to be known.
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1John 3:2-3)
Again, at first glance, these passages of scripture might lead one to believe that our true identity is truly up in the air. However, I do not believe this is an accurate description of these verses. While this might be true for some, this does not have to be the case for those who are in Christ. There is a grave difference between those who do not know who they are in Christ, verses those that do.
In addition, “we know that when He appears we will be like Him…” This kind of appearing is not based on some experience in the hereafter, such as “when I die and go to heaven” but it’s based on Jesus appearing to us here and now, in our heart, in his kingdom, in heaven.
It appears the mystery of our true identity lies beyond the mirror (reflection) of who we are in Christ. Seeing Jesus face-to-face is the afterlife of spiritual maturity. This afterlife was accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus. “In him we live and move and have our being, right now.” If you look back at the beginning of 1Corinthisans 13, you quickly discover that “Love” is the primary gateway that brings us into this face-to-face reality in the kingdom of God.
Therefore, in order to get beyond the “enigma” the mystery of Christ, we have to go beyond a mere reflection of his love into the breadth, length, height and depth of that same love. Sadly to say, for most people, the love of God is still somewhat of an enigma. Of course, there is not an end to his love, nonetheless the reality of such love is fully available to us here and now.
I have come to realize that “seeing dimly” or living in the “enigma” of Christ is seeing and experiencing life “off centered” of the knowledge of God’s love. Over the years, I have become more determined to move toward the center gravity of His amazing love. In doing so, I find that I am less offended, less critical and accusative, less arrogant, less unbecoming, not easily provoked, and much quicker to forgive.
When I think on the love of God, I see light. I see a life so brilliantly bright that the light of the glory of God’s love illuminates my inner most being, so intensely, that I seemly see no fault in anyone. Its true, I am genuinely amazed at such conclusion. Increasingly, the love of God enables me to see beyond the temporary state of humanity, into its divine glorious intent.
When my wife Tamera sees someone that is acting out of their eternal character, she has adopted this perspective, “Oh look, there is a brother/sister who is struggling with their identity.” As many of you know, Tamera is what many would term “young in the Lord.” Yet, in the love of God, in my opinion, she is beyond her years, seeing beyond the “enigma” of humanity. In the end, regardless of future circumstances, I believe this will become the prevailing light in 2016.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus, while hanging on the cross, “Father! Forgive them! For they do not know what they are doing!” Jesus wasn’t just saying; ‘if they knew who I was they wouldn’t be treating me like this.’ He was also referring to their identity, ‘if they knew who they were, they would not be acting like this.’
When you don’t know who you are in Christ, you will, more often than not, treat others the same. You will not be able to see past the “enigma” of their true state in the kingdom of God.
In order for us to see beyond the veil of obscurity, thus seeing everything from the perspective of eternity, we must not only recognize who Jesus is, but who we are in him. I am fully convinced; the love of God is the only force powerful enough to bring us into our true identity, beyond the obscurity of life.
Through Jesus, we have been afforded the ability to see past the frailty of humanity into the riches of his purposeful intent for our lives. Our inability to see the light in those around us, no matter how darkened their current state might seem is proof that we have not yet broken through the darkness of our own understanding, otherwise known as the “darkness of the soul.”
Once we see the Light and see his Light in us, we will then see that same Light in others. We have come to the end of an enigma generation. What was seemed obscured will be no more. The brightness of His coming is now here. “We were once darkness, but now we are Light in the Lord, therefore, we walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)