Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Do you want to know a secret?

People love a mystery. It is what attracts people to groups like the Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and Mormons, who provide secret knowledge and secret ceremonies for the initiated. It was the heart of the Mystery Religions of the Roman Empire in ancient times. It was the lure of Gnosticism, the second and third century rival to historic Christianity, which offered secret spiritual "knowledge." It accounts for the present-day resurgence of the occult. The word occult (Latin occultus, meaning clandestine, hidden, secret), refers to "knowledge of the hidden."

Revelation is the "unveiling" of mystery. It is what accounts for our two thousand year fascination with the book of Revelation. In Revelation 5 there is a picture of the classic "secret scroll" sealed with seven seals - meaning securely and divinely sealed. No one can open this book and read the knowledge within. No one is worthy to reveal its contents, and therefore John "wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read it." (5:4)

But then One appears who has the authority and ability to open it - a Lion, who on second glance, is actually a Lamb - the apocalyptic symbol for Christ. In other words, Jesus is the Key! He is one of whom it was said, "What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." (3:7) He unlocks the mystery of time and eternity.

This is certainly true in my life. I have been a lifelong student of the spiritual traditions of the world. Academically and personally, I have extensively studied the scriptures, teachings and practices of the world's religions. I have practiced the spiritual disciplines and read the sacred scriptures. There is much truth in the spiritual traditions of the world. I have great respect for the great religions.

But Jesus holds the key. Jesus is the Key. Being in Christ, the veil of this world falls away and one can see into the heart of the universe. What people yearn for through religion is fulfilled in Christ.

Christ is the Light by which all else is seen. Without him, nothing is seen. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)

He sees all things (the meaning of the seven eyes) and he holds all power (the meaning of the seven horns.) (5:6) In him we can see and are seen. As Meister Eckhart said, "The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me." Christ is my sight and my knowledge and my light. Without him, all is darkness. In Him, the mystery is revealed.

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