In the last blog, we saw that the prophets of Israel who prophesied about God’s grace to the Jews, and who inquired of God concerning what person and time the Christ would be revealed, learned that they were serving the Jews of a future time – those to whom Peter is now writing. The good news of Jesus Christ came straight through the ancient prophets sent from heaven, announcing things which angels had longed for to see. Peter continues:
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet 1:13-16; Leviticus 21:8).
Peter is connecting the ancient words of Moses to biblical era Jews who have rejected the true Christ in their time. I believe Peter is also speaking behaviors of perfect unity to all of us down through the centuries:
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet 1:17-19).
Peter is telling the Jews that their dispersion, while it was the result of their ancestors’ failures and disobedience, they were ransomed and saved from hell by the blood of Christ. Jesus was the ultimate Jewish sacrifice. So why do they still not believe in Jesus as Savior?
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet 1:20-21).
Peter has connected thousands of years of belief in the eventual appearance of the Christ with the current moment – it is time! Your prayers and Scriptures have been fulfilled!
This is a chilling parallel moment for we Christians today who have not fulfilled Jesus passionate prayer for perfect unity that we might become perfectly One; yet his grace endures forever and our Scriptures have also been fulfilled – the New Testament. So what follows here is, for us, at least as important as it was for the Jews in Peter’s day:
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The flower withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever’” (1 Pet 1:22-25a; Psalm 119:89).
Being perfectly one in unity with Christ and with each other is nothing short of born-again obedience to the Word of God. Sincere brotherly love from pure, united hearts is imperishable - forever.
“And this is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Pet 1:25b).
Hurry back for more from Peter, who is challenging the Jews of the dispersion, but with the same words is speaking directly to us!