November 6 - Redemption

Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 6 - Redemption - 1 Peter 1:17-21

Jesus taught us to call God 'Father.' (Luke 11:2) In fact, Paul, in Romans 8:15, says that we can cry out to 'Abba, Father,' which is even more personal. But, Peter says here in 1 Peter 1:17, that if we are going to call out to Father, we need to be sure that we are living in reverent fear.

Proverbs 1:7 says that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..."

We should not presume upon the relationship that we have with God, because He will judge us all impartially. We always need to approach the Creator with reverence and awe.

When I was in high school, I was in several singing groups that toured the state of Iowa singing in churches. One Sunday morning we were in a church that was a different denomination than most of the kids in our group. One of the kids was sitting on the altar rail while we were warming up and getting things set up. The pastor came out and as politely as possible, gave the entire group a small lecture on honoring the things in the sanctuary. Treating the house of God with reverence. It was a lesson I never forgot (and a lesson that I was happy to receive from afar - generally I'm the one that learns the tough lessons in person!).

1 Peter 1:18-19 reiterates the basis for the Gospels. We were bought with a price, something worth much more than silver or gold. Our redemption came at the cost of Christ's life.

It was Peter who said to the crippled beggar in Acts 3:6, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." He brings those words back to remind us that what we see as worthwhile pales in comparison to the price of redemption.

Jews were required to bring a lamb without blemish or defect to the altar as an offering. Jesus is presented as the sacrificial lamb, pure and without any blemish or defect. I can only imagine that the selection process for an unblemished lamb was arduous. Entrepreneurs figured that out and tried to make it easier on the everyday worshipper, but managed to get themselves in trouble when they charged exorbitant prices and did this on the temple grounds.

1 Peter 1:20 shows us that Christ was selected before the world was created. Peter H. Davids, in his commentary says, "it was not an accident that this prices was paid: God paid it deliberately; that is, it was a plan 'chosen in advance, before the foundation of the world.'" This is not simply a matter of God knowing that it was going to happen, but this plan was set into place and revealed when the time was right.

The plan worked. In 1 Peter 1:21 we see that through Jesus, we believe in God. Our faith and our hope are in God. And this is because of the Jesus' resurrection and ascension into glory. God has made it possible for us to believe in and have faith in the One who is able to accomplish the resurrection of the dead.

No matter what persecution the early Christians faced, no matter what we may face, we can be confident in the fact that God will be able to do for us what He did for Jesus Christ.

This is the hope of the redemption story.