“18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”NIV
During the Lent period, I have been reading a book of extracts from the writings of C.S. Lewis. In his autobiography, ‘Surprised by Joy’, Lewis writes engagingly about his conversion, and also about the time leading up to it, when, you might say, his armour was being pierced. This is what I read on the morning of writing today’s thought:
‘’Early in 1926 the hardest boiled of all the atheists I ever knew sat in my room on the other side of the fire and remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the gospels was really surprisingly good. ‘Rum thing,’ he went on. ‘All this stuff of Frazer’s about the Dying God. Rum thing. It almost looks as if it really happened once.’ To understand the shattering impact of it, you would need to know the man (who has certainly never since shown any interest in Christianity). If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of toughs, were not – as I would still have put it – ‘safe’, where could I turn? Was there then no escape?’’
Peter, here, affirms that it really did happen once (recently, in fact, when he wrote) although it had been long planned. Jesus died, as the perfect fulfilment of the Old Testament sacrificial system, and in that dying He paid the price to buy people out of an ‘’empty way of life. That is what is so ‘good’ about Good Friday.
We are again reminded that ‘’silver’’ and ‘’gold’’ are ‘’perishable’’ (18). The ‘’precious’’ blood of Jesus, however, is of supreme and abiding value. By His blood we can be ‘’redeemed’’ – that is bought out of the slavery of sin.
Today’s passage is so clearly and helpfully rendered in ‘The Message:
‘’It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you.’’
THOUGHT: ‘When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.