Reading: 1 Peter 1: 17-23
Verses 18-19: It was not with perishable things such as gold or silver that you were redeemed… but with the prescious blood of Christ.
Today’s text plays with the contrast between the perishable and the imperishable. Peter calls us to pursue the imperishable and to strive for the things of God. This is in contrast to the world’s view of what matters and what is worthy of our efforts. Peter encourages the believers to set aside the ways passed down by their fathers and to not follow in pursuing an “empty way of life”. The chasing after the gold and silver leads to emptiness. This is a lesson we all eventually learn. To be rich in things most often leaves one pour in the soul. At some point all people look in the mirror and come to realize that money and things and status do not bring true happiness. Living a full life cannot rest on the perishable but must instead be founded on the imperishable.
Peter calls on Christians to “live your lives as strangers in reverant fear”. To live as strangers means to live not of this world and its cares. Another phrase that parallels this idea is “in the world but not of the world”. Our true citizenship is in heaven. To have ‘reverant fear’ is to have holy respect for God. It is to be aware that the world’s choices lead to death and destruction.
This passage reminds us that we were bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. This sacrifice made in love calls us to love our brothers and sisters with a deep and sincere love. Jesus demonstrated what this love looks like and He calls us to follow after Him and to love like He loved. Verses 18 and 19 capture this love: “It was not with perishable things such as gold or silver that you were redeemed… but with the prescious blood of Christ”. The blood and love that made it flow so that you and I can be redeemed are imperishable. This love of God that was poured out on the cross can never be lost. There is nothing we can do to find ourselves outside of God’s love. Nothing. This is why God is our only hope in this world. This is why God alone provides for our salvation. He is our eternity. It is not founded on our fickle love for God but upon God’s unfailing love for us. It is a gift far more precious than any gold or silver and it is far more enduring. For the imperishable love of God that we have in Jesus Christ, this day let us offer our praise and thanksgiving.