Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Pet 1:1-2
How often do we read over passages in the Bible, especially the introductions of books, and take for granted that we comprehend their breadth and depth?
The sprinkling of blood has its roots in the penalty of death established by God in Gen 2:17 and the incurring of that penalty in Gen 3:1-6. While unbelievers often cite the death of Jesus as justification for their perception of God as harsh and abusive, Genesis chapters 2-3 establish Him as the author of objective truth and moral law. As such His law is perfect. God can not violate His own absolute truth and moral law that governs all of His creation. If He did it would no longer be absolute. If that sounds confusing imagine for a moment what life would look like if the “Law of Gravitational effect” were relative. What if the absolute moral law against raping and killing children were relative? Hence God set the shedding of blood or death as the consequence for the only potential sin in the beginning. If we consider that the first sin birthed the potential for all sin in the introduction of relativism (did God really say? Gen 3:1) that caused the Fall, then we begin to have the right perspective of the grace offered to us through Jesus’ final sacrifice on the cross. After all, God might conceivably have destroyed everything and simply started over.
Then again, quitting is an admission of failure – an act of fallen human will, not God’s will. An omnipotent, omniscient God can not fail or give up.
The sprinkling of blood is a sacrificial act of faith as described in Heb 11:28 and has its roots in the first sacrifice offered by Able. Gen 4:4, Heb 12:24 Then the first Passover in Exodus 12:21-27. The literal sprinkling of the blood was not some archaic Old Testament ritual devoid of meaning for us today. It was a 4000-year type and shadow of Jesus who was offered as a propitiation for our sins. Rom 3:24-25, 1 John 2:2
Propitiation is hilastḗrion an atoning victim, or “The Mercy” Seat which is the lid of the “Ark of the Covenant” in the Temple.
Moses sprinkled the atoning blood of God’s covenant with Israel on the people in Exodus 24:28. It’s depth is further elaborated in the details of the first Tabernacle Exodus 25-30. The final and most sacred foreshadowing act happened once a year. This was the atoning sprinkling of blood upon the Mercy Seat Lev 16, Heb 9
Today the Mercy Seat is Jesus, the thrown of Grace to which we now boldly approach for help in our time of need. Heb 4:16
This was only possible through the final sprinkling of blood upon sin in John 19:32-34, artistically depicted in the movie The Passion of the Christ.
But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. John 19:34
The final sprinkling included blood and water. The blood of Jesus was the propitiatory death on our behalf, the final sacrificial offering and sprinkling of blood on the Mercy Seat, and the fulfillment of the Gospel of Salvation. The water represented new life, a new type and shadow of what is to come in the fulfillment of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Rev 22:1
If you regularly attend The Acts 17:11 Bereans Bible Study then you know we barely scratched the surface when we studied the Tabernacle. Here I’ve knocked a few proverbial paint chips off the wall to reveal a peephole into depths unknown. Peter is referring to all of this and more in four words in the first two verses of 1 Peter 1. This is not the first time Peter has addressed his audience comprised of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Asia Minor. More than likely many of them had also heard from Paul when he journeyed to Ephesus. Hence Peter may have rightly assumed they were familiar with the breadth and depth of his words. The same can not always be said of contemporary believers. Are you struggling to find God’s power in your life or worse, tempted to deconstruct and fall away completely? Consider the possibility that you have never been rooted and grounded. Eph 3:17-18 Consider the possibility that you are not as wise as you thought, Rom 1:22 that immaturity might be your issue. Eph 4:11-14 Or worse, consider that you meet one of the criteria listed in Mark 4:1-20. If that is the case then don’t deconstruct.