The Unseen Author
Peter is writing to encourage Christians in trouble. The danger of persecution and sense of isolation made them vulnerable; they might be tempted to abandon their faith. Peter has urged them to keep obeying Jesus, reminding them of their future inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5) and their present joy as they experience Christ's love (1 Peter 1:8-9). Now he presents the Old Testament as a major encouragement for Christians. Of course, the prophets did not know Jesus, but as they wrote, the Spirit of Christ was within them - enabling them to write accurately about His death and resurrection.
Even when our confidence in the future is dimmed and our present experience is clouded by trouble, the Bible is always God's reliable Word to us. The prophets knew that they were writing about things outside of their human knowledge; and as hard as they tried, they could not work it out. But they knew that God was urging them to record His Word, which, later, would make a lot of sense to Christians like us. Their words serve not only to inform us about God's grace through Jesus, but also to reassure us that His suffering was no accident. It was all planned by God so that we might share His future glory. Even the angels were amazed as they saw the plan for our salvation unfold!
Many of the prophets saw suffering, but although they wrote about the fullness of God's glory, none of them saw it. Both they and us are waiting for Jesus to come back (Hebrews 11:39-40). In the meantime, there is no reason why we should be unconfident about God's salvation and love for us, because the Holy Spirit is still speaking the same message through gospel preachers. We now also have historical evidence that all God's plan for Jesus is true - and so we really can trust God's Word even when life is tough. And we can also be certain that the untidy suffering of faith will be followed by glory: the Bible shows us how the prophets predicted it, Jesus proved it and therefore we can be confident of sharing His glory one day (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15).
© Dr Paul Adams