Watching the latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes on TV the other night, it occurred to me that the Bible is a mystery story.
I don’t mean the kind of mystery that is inherently unknowable, or ineffably beyond us. I mean the kind that Arthur Conan Doyle crafted so cleverly—the baffling secret that is hidden and partially revealed in glimpses, but only becomes open and clear at the end when Holmes solves the puzzle and explains everything.
This is what God’s plan is like in the Bible. He makes certain promises, and does certain things, but no-one is really very sure what the end point is going to be. The prophets searched and inquired, but couldn’t fathom it (1 Pet 1:10-12). And even when face to face with the Answer, his own people could not or would not receive it.
The gospel is the explanation, the revelation of the secret, the solving of the puzzle.
Which I guess makes us the dimwitted police inspector who is told the answer by the master detective, and then faithfully announces it to the waiting media.