Colosians 3:3-4 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
When it comes to the Spiritual life and the spiritual disciplines, our hiddenness is at odds with the world. The World displays what is best and hides what is worse. Secrets are some of the most dangerous weapons this world can wield. In the Kingdom of God, it is different. What is worst of ourselves we place on display to the world, and what is best and most beautiful is most hidden.
Each of the ways that we “store up treasures in heaven” Jesus tells us, are hidden. Secret giving, secret fasting, secret prayer, things, only your Father in Heaven knows and sees, are the things that count in eternity. So, it is not surprising that our very identity is hidden in Christ, and it will only become clear who we are when it is clear who He is.
Jesus was not teaching us something new. He was revealing what was already hidden.
The priests and Levites who worked together in harmony in the tabernacle, found themselves fewer as they approached the Holy Place. The priest who offered the highest service, interceding night and day at the altar of incense went in alone. Everyone could see the part of his work that was bloody, but only the LORD saw the part that was beautiful.
The Tabernacle itself was covered in skins on the outside but covered with gold on the inside. The old leather in years of desert wandering dried and cracked, pulled and tore. The inner glory only shined through where the seams were ripping.
Paul said that we are treasure in earthen vessel, that while the outer person is wearing out, inner person is being renewed, day by day. Who you are, in Christ, the very best of who you are, are the parts that only He sees and knows. Those moments when you worked and no one saw, when you prayed, and no one knew, when you give, and no one cheers, when you abstain and those who benefit assume there was plenty. It is always easier to give in to our cry for recognition then to pursue the call of heaven. You will give your best on earth and all the while you will be misunderstood, mischaracterized and maligned.
The Heavenly One came to us in hiddenness. He came as a baby, he walked around in a body, he got tired and hot, and thirsty. And he worked and wept as he wore out his human body, and only when the seams cracked did His glory show through. He was hidden. Isaiah described him as a man of sorrows, acquainted with griefs. He said that Kings would see Him and forget their words, and that we would see Him and consider Him “smitten of God.” In other words we would look at Him and say “what awful things has He done that caused God to treat Him with such horror, not realizing what had fallen on Him was our iniquity. His exaltation would be upon a Cross, more marred than any other. If we were looking for beauty, attractiveness, we would instead find horror. If the Cross was what was seen, the resurrection was the unseen. When the rocks shook, the stone rolled away, and the soldier fell in fear, the vindicating glory was only seen by the angels. But when the Son of Man comes on the Clouds in Glory…what was hidden will finally be seen.
Like our LORD we will be
Misunderstood and under-estimated- but that leaves the door open to vindication.
Underutilized and under-rated- but that leaves the door open to glorification
Broken and unseemly- but that leaves the door open to beautification.
Will there be enough contentment in us now to compel us to be revealed later?