I enjoy reading or watching a well-written “Whodunnit?”. Given the popularity of such a broad range of detectives as the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Columbo, Jessica Fletcher, Adrian Monk, Nero Wolfe, and a host of others, I clearly am not alone in my enjoyment of this genre.
Beginning with a clear problem—a committed crime or puzzling disappearance—and proceeding to investigate the evidence and then generate and winnow a list of suspects a mystery concludes with the revelation by the heroic detective of what was unknown when the story began—who, if any, the criminal is.
The Bible is the revelation of God’s mystery. It begins with a heinous, capital crime called sin. A list of possible solutions is considered—righteousness through personal merit, righteousness through perfect obedience to God’s holy Law, righteousness through the shedding of the blood of innocent bulls and goats. None of these solutions resolves the case.
Then, just as it appears this crime will have no satisfactory conclusion and all humanity will be cursed with eternal punishment with the devil and his angels, God made “known to us the mystery of His will” (Ephesians 1:9). “The revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25) is made manifest. “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Thus, “according to the commandment of the everlasting God” (Romans 16:26), all humanity can be legally pardoned of all their capital offenses by personal obedience to the faith (Romans 1:5, 16:26).
God’s thrilling and unique mystery was etched into human history “according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself” (Ephesians 1:9). It is well summed up in the beloved and familiar words of “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
What a mystery!