Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

1 Peter 1:17-21

Are You Washed by the Blood of the Spotless Lamb?

“17 And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake. 21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

“…conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…”

What kind of fear is Peter telling us about?  There is a clue in the verse just before that states, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  Even Jesus tells us in John 5:20, “Be not afraid.”   So the kind of fear spoken of here is the kind that we should have for losing something more precious than gold; that is our salvation

Can that happen?!

Yes, it can.  This is one of the hardest truths for our Protestant brethren to accept.  They believe, “once saved always saved,” and to some extent this is true.  After all, Christ died once and for all (ref Rom 6:10), for our sins and for the forgiveness of those sins, but that doesn’t guarantee that all will accept that free gift of salvation on a daily basis.  For Jesus does not say, “Die to yourself once, and only once take up your cross and follow me.”  No, He says, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mt 16:24).  Thus implying a daily action.

Therefore, we must renew our baptismal promises again and again, and live our daily lives moment by moment, in the light of God’s Love which brings us hope in our salvation.  But when we turn from God and despair; when we become so angry and frustrated with His plan that we stop going to Mass; or when we refuse to pray because God has not answered our prayers the way we think He should ;  We run the risk of separating ourselves permanently from God.  This means – We reject  that free-gift of salvation! 

Therefore it is prudent, ney, advisable! and one could arguably say in our best interest, that we live our lives always striving to be in the presence of God, ever mindful that – though our salvation was won by Christ’s death and resurrection – it is up to us to daily choose to accept it!

We have been “ransomed form the futile ways of our fathers… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 

Isn’t this a wonderful reference to the Jewish passover lamb?  Remember that story (See Exodus 12)?  That night, the Angel of the Lord entered into Egypt and smote all the first born of both man and beast.  Yet, the Israelites were not affected.  Why?  Because on their doorposts and mantles, they had placed blood from a lamb that had been slaughtered and eaten just that night.  But this lamb wasn’t your average lamb.  No!  It was a male lamb, spotless and without blemish, that was slaughtered just before evening tide, and whose blood saved God’s people from destruction.  Is this not what Jesus’ blood does for us, God’s people, today?

What’s more, after the Israelites were saved from the plague they were also released from bondage – that is from the slavery of Egypt.  Are we not also released from our bondage from sin when we too partake of the Lamb?  Yes!  Why?  Because, His blood has been placed over our hearts just as the blood was placed over the homes of the Israelites, for it is written “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which [He] opened for us through the curtain, that is, through [His] flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for [He] who promised is faithful;” (Heb 10:19-23).  “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be,” (Mt 6:21).

Heaven is now open to us and our journey home must begin immediately!  We are not alone on this journey, with the help of the Holy Spirit we have “confidence in God”.  For by Him, Jesus was “raised from the dead”, and given glory so that all might have “faith and hope in God”.  Jesus will always be with us (Mt 28:20), so we have confidence that the Power of God is always on our side.  We can come to Him, day by day, moment by moment, renewing our baptismal vows that we will “conduct ourselves with [Holy] fear throughout [our] time of exile.” 

Lord God, direct my path always, that Your perfect plan for my life be established today as I pick up my cross, and follow after Your Son.  Lord, you knew me while I was yet in my mother’s womb, have mercy on me, a poor sinner. 

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