References: I Peter 1:18-19; Isaiah 53
From last week’s post: We have violated the law of God; we have aligned ourselves with the enemy of God; God hates sin. ….There can be no comfort unless the need is addressed.
Redemption: ransom paid
In the Old Testament, when someone was unable to pay his debt, he would become a slave to the one he was indebted to. Once enslaved, there was no opportunity to work one’s way out of debt. However, there was a provision that a next of kin, the nearest relative, could pay the debt, and the person would be set free. This relative was actually referred to as a redeemer.
God created you and me to serve Him. The only life that is not futile or purposeless is a life of service unto God. Sinners, you and I, have failed to do that. In fact, every point at which you fail to meet the exact standard of God’s law means you are serving the Devil instead. For this, you owe to God a debt. You cannot pay it. It is a debt which requires the precious blood of Jesus.
The core concept of redemption is twofold: the debt owed must be paid, and a way for freedom from enslavement must be provided.
Thus, speaking of the precious blood of Jesus does not imply some vengeful God, or a really ugly kind of situation. Rather, it means knowing the ransom has been paid for the debt you owe. You are no longer stuck in a life with no purpose; you are free to be whom God made you to be. You are free to live in a manner pleasing to the Lord, and live and work fruitfully in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.
Indeed, the need has been met.
If you think of something precious to you, normally it would be something of considerable value. The price to obtain it would be quite high. For most of us, obtaining something of great value, at a high price, would involve a considerable sacrifice.
I am reminded of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 13: a merchant, when he found a pearl of great price, went and sold everything he had so he could purchase it. He made a complete sacrifice for the one valuable thing.
The work of Christ in redeeming you came at a great price and sacrifice.
Covered by the Redeemer’s blood
Peter, in this letter, takes pains to assure you that Jesus’ work for you is genuine and trustworthy. We know that if something is presented to be of great value, but someone offers it at a very low price, you will get suspicious. You don’t trust that its value is genuine.
The price here is not even one that you can place a particular value on, not even millions or trillions of dollars. Not with silver or gold. It is, in fact, of much more value than any amount of physical value you can place on it.
The sacrifice made and the price paid is the blood of Jesus.
In the Old Testament on the day of atonement, which took place once every year, a lamb was sacrificed and the blood of the lamb was taken by the high priest into the inner room in the tabernacle or temple and the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat. This symbolized that at the throne of God, the seat of judgment, with the sin of the people being before the judge, the blood sprinkled was a covering. A covering so that judgment for sin would not need to take place.
Payment, owed for sin, has been made when Christ died on the cross.
Satisfying the wrath of the just God
The loving God, who created a people with an intimate relationship of fellowship and service, must require that justice be carried out. The love of God becomes meaningless if there is no sense of a righteous God whose wrath condemns sin. To allow sin to be simply be overlooked and set aside would destroy the very nature of God and the reality of a life-giving relationship with Him. It would cheapen any relationship with God.
Peter reiterates that point in this passage. Blood wasn’t some cheap payment; it was the real payment. The sacrifice of Christ, being hung on the cross, is the true covering for your sin.
You can be certain that the righteous wrath of God has been satisfied. There is no wrath of God left in terms of some uncovered sin.
God made it absolutely clear to Adam, the federal head, representing all mankind, that the day he sinned (meaning all of us sinning with him), he would most certainly die. That is exactly what happened: we all died; spiritually, the relationship with God was cut off. For man who is created in the image of God, being cut off from God means death. Physically, Adam and Eve began to realize the reality of death as they experienced the curse of sin.
But God has not left you under that curse. The payment demanded–death–has been made, which was the blood of Jesus, sacrificed on the cross.
Yes, we still struggle in life. Not every day is just a day of comfort, but even in the midst of the struggle, even with COVID-19, we do not need to be afraid it. You can be certain of the freedom from sin and eternal restoration with God… based on the price paid.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.