We all love a good mystery. We find great satisfaction when we solve them. The more tantalisingly difficult they are, the greater the sense of achievement when we unravel them.
We also love receiving presents, and the more well-received a present is, the greater the value and importance we ascribe to the giver and the gift.
Paul the apostle was captivated by a mystery. He referred to it as a mystery that had been hidden from ages and generations. Although many great minds have pondered over this mystery, as far as Paul was concerned, the answer to this mystery had eluded everyone, including himself, until he encountered Jesus on the Damascus road.
The mystery concerns the real reason why humanity exists and our place in relation to the Creator and the Creator’s caring and mindfulness for man.
The Psalmists recognised this mystery when they asked of the Creator:
“What is mankind that You are mindful^ of them, human beings that You care^ for them?” Psalm 8:4
“Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them?” Psalm 144:3
The Writer of Job recorded Job’s thoughts on the matter as:
“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention?”
Even knowing and experiencing the mindful caring of the Divine did not assuage their desire and urge to question to know “Why”.
Somehow, ingrained in our human nature is a persistent urge to seek for meaning, significance and value for our existence. We are constantly driven, consciously or subconsciously, to find an authentic answer to the “why” and purpose of our existence. Rick Warren’s ‘A Purpose Driven Life’, a New York Bestseller book, was an effort to address this issue.
We intrinsically feel something missing or lacking within our humanity. Without knowing the “why” and purpose of our existence, many of us break under and succumb to the loads placed on us in life. Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor and founder of logotherapy, a form of existential analysis, understood and recognised this. In his best selling book “Man's Search for Meaning”, he quotes Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” The “Why “ will always undergird and strengthen the “How”.
For Paul, the hidden mystery or counsel concerning humankind was that God had conceived and purposed in eternity, within the Triune Communion, that the Son would became a man - Christ Jesus. Father’s will, Son’s choice and Spirit’s activity determined the inevitable predestined nature of this happening taking place, in the fullness of time, in our human history, in our humanity.
Concerning Christ, (in whom the divine and human natures are so joined in hypostatic union without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation, in one person in the incarnation, that it may be said that the person of Jesus is truly and properly God and truly and properly man), Son, who is now a man, Paul wrote: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in* him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by(through)** him, and for*** him”
All things are created in, by and through the Son. All things were also created for the Son who was to become a man, a human being. It follows then that creation was not only for the Son as the Eternal Son, but also for the Son who has now become a man, one with us in our humanity and one in us in our humanity.
Although Triune God had to create before humanity can come into being, Triune God created that Son could become a human being. To be in eternal union with created humanity seems to be the impetus for creating and creation.