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 1:12 (ESV)
The salvation that has been revealed through Jesus Christ is of such a nature that the majestic angels would love to look into it, but can’t. What is so intriguing to the angels? Aren’t they the mighty beings of heaven that have access to realities that we can’t see? Aren’t they more powerful than even our imaginary superheroes of today? What is so grand about the salvation that Jesus revealed?
It isn’t surprising that we would be astounded as such a statement. After all, the "gospel" we have become accustomed to is not all that majestic, nor mysterious. It has been reduced to a “plan” for many. It is presented like instructions on a medicine bottle. We are told to follow the plan and swallow the pill and the results will be fine. You can get the benefits of heaven without ever actually meeting the Savior and having a relationship with him. There is nothing about such a procedure that would make angels want to see it.
Various attempts have been made to simplify this salvation and assure that it is relevant to contemporary people. They all seem to find a common thread: There is something for the person to do in order to get the benefits. They might have to join a church, be baptized, make a covenant with others, eliminate bad behavior, begin to practice certain spiritual disciplines, etc. These are put out front as the condition for qualification. “If you will…, God will issue you the salvation certificate.” Though any or all of those experiences may be involved in living out the relationship with God, none of them qualify a person for salvation.
Salvation is what God has acted to provide. He didn’t ask anyone if he could or should. He sent his Son to be sin for those trapped in sin and its destruction. He then announced what he had done out of mercy. It is astounding! The holy God becomes sin so that unholy people can be rescued and made holy. He didn’t require sacrifice from sinners who had nothing to give, but made sacrifice himself so that they could know him. The whole story of human history is the narrative of how he accomplished this. Every day and every detail of history was necessary for it to be provided. Each character in the story was vital, and every prophet knew that he was speaking of a day when the heavens would shake and the earth would be redeemed, while angels bowed in awe.
If this salvation is so grand, we should take another look. It is not just good sense to try to be better people. It is not religion where man tries to please or appease God or the gods. It is something that would never have been conceived by the minds of humans even if they lived infinitely. It had to be thought by God and then brought to fruition by him. It is simple but not common. If it is old hat to you, I suggest you haven’t seen it yet.