Christians talk a lot about the blood of Jesus. In fact, it’s such a part of our lives that it doesn’t seem strange to us to even sing about it. Imagine, though, being new to Christianity and visiting a church and hearing men, women, and children sing, “Are you washed in the blood?” So, what is this preoccupation with the blood of Jesus? It’s this:
Peter calls the believers to live lives of reverent trust in God, and the basis of that is that they know that they were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from their forefathers. To be ransomed means to be released from imprisonment by way of payment. What was the prison? The futile ways inherited from their forefathers.
Peter is likely writing to non-Jews primarily, so he likely has Gentile paganism in mind. They were in bondage to that system of belief and its accompanying lifestyle. They continually rebelled against God, and so they were prisoners in need of ransom.
What was the cost of this ransom? It wasn’t perishable things such as silver or gold. No, there isn’t enough silver or gold in the world to make payment for the sins of men.
No, they were ransomed with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Now, this needs more explanation. Let’s start with the blood of a lamb without blemish or spot. In the Old Testament, God established a sacrificial system for the Jews designed to express His justice and His mercy. The people sinned, and rather than receive the wrath that they deserved, an innocent animal would take it instead. With the bloody sacrifice of the animal, God’s wrath was symbolically poured out on it, and thus He showed mercy to His people.
One of the animals sacrificed was a lamb (especially on Passover), and this lamb needed to be without blemish or spot, partly so that people didn’t bring their ugliest animals to sacrifice, but more importantly because it symbolized a pure animal, worthy of redeeming the people from slavery to sin.
But the lamb was never meant to be enough. Sacrificing animals was never sufficient covering for the many sins of the people. But the lamb pointed forward to Jesus the Messiah, who would come and be the perfect and final Lamb, to be slain and sacrificed on behalf of the people. And since His blood was poured out on our behalf, God’s wrath and justice were satisfied, and He shows grace and mercy to all who believe in the Lamb.
So, that’s why the blood of Jesus is such a big deal to the Christian. That’s why we sing about it and read about it and talk about it. It’s because Jesus shed His blood for sinners like us that we have eternal life and joy. Do you have that? Trust in Jesus, and you too will have been ransomed with His blood.