1 Peter 1:17-20
“You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.” vss. 18-19
It’s no accident that the liturgies of many congregations contain references to Jesus as the Lamb of God. After all that’s the language of scripture. Sacrifice was at the heart of Jewish temple worship, and it was natural that the Jewish followers of Jesus would see his death on the cross as a sin offering. As this writer put it, we are ransomed from sin by the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without defect or blemish. In recent years this descriptive language has fallen out of use among some believers–for them it’s an archaic image that needs to be replaced. The problem is that when we avoid the transactional language, a ton of passion drops out of the Passion Story. We’re left with a brave revolutionary who died at the hands of a dominating power, a kind of Che Guevara figure, someone who we remember with an image on a t-shirt or a poster on the wall. Even though we may not like sacrificial language in describing what Jesus did, there is no denying that his sacrificial death speaks to our hearts. And while the minds of literalists may boggle at the notion of an ancient death having anything to do with forgiveness, countless folks continue to believe that the blood of Jesus has been shed for them.
Thought for the Day: In Communion, what does “shed for you” mean?