How does being “sprinkled with Christ’s blood” affect my relationship with Him?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
In the opening greeting of Peter’s first letter to persecuted Christians in Asia Minor, he states his desire (and God’s purpose) that by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, they would be sprinkled with the blood of Christ (see 1 Peter 1:2). It’s easy for us to breeze over phrases like this since we don’t live in a time where ritual sacrifices are a part of life. However, since Peter stated it right at the beginning, we ought to take a closer look to see what this means for us today.
To understand what Peter was referring to, we must go to Exodus 20 where Moses is presenting the Ten commandments to the people. In chapters 21-23, Moses outlines further details (laws) concerning slaves, personal injury, theft, property damage, dishonesty, immorality, civil and religious obligations, Sabbaths and feasts, and finally, laws related to conquest.
In chapter 24 we see the covenant between God and His people being ratified. After Moses had instructed the people in all that God had said, the people vowed to obey, so Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord (Ex. 24:3-4). Moses built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. The young men of Israel then sacrificed burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. Moses then put half the blood into basins and sprinkled the other half of the blood on the altar.
In the presence of the people, he read from the book of the covenant, and once again, the people vowed to obey everything they had just heard. From the blood in the basins, Moses then sprinkled the people saying, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Ex. 24:8).
AS I SEE IT
With this as background, we can better understand what Peter was saying. Just as the covenant God made with His people, Israel, in the days of Moses was sealed with a ritual of sprinkling the people with the blood of a specified sacrifice, so Christians today can see themselves as having been sprinkled with the blood of our sacrifice, Jesus. In our case, however, we are not entering into an agreement in which our promise is to do something. Our sprinkling is one of being wholly dedicated to God.
From that relationship, the obedience flows as that of a willing slave or servant who obeys his master out of love and respect, not from fear of reprisal. In our case, we serve a master whose sacrifice was His own blood. The Israelites’ acceptance of the terms of God’s covenant (in the presence of Moses) meant that they would obey everything in it. Our acceptance before Christ according to the New Covenant, means that we will love Him in return for His love for us.
(Sanctified to obedience)
Being sprinkled with His blood means that our acceptance of Christ’s shed blood as an atoning sacrifice binds us to Him and that our obedience will flow from our love for Him. I think we take our relationship with Christ much too lightly. Peter is urging each one of us to consider ourselves as having entered into a binding covenant, a covenant with infinitely greater consequences than any legal document we may sign. Being sprinkled with His blood means that He has purchased us. We have agreed to the transaction. We belong to Him and are to be controlled by His love. Imagine what He can do through us when we let this truth sink in.
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