Summary: The precious blood of Christ of more value than silver and gold
Peter 1: 18-20
“Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold.”
Burl Ives sang about silver and gold in a famous Christmas song. But silver and gold were revered as being precious far before that song’s debut in the l965 Christmas special.
Historians tell us that humans beings have coveted and used silver and gold for thousands of years. Treasure troves of silver and gold have been found in burial sites in what is modern day BULGARIA dating back to 4,000 BC. As early as 3100 B.C., we find references to Egypt basing its monetary system on silver and gold. Gold and silver in terms of coinage—date back to 600 B.c.C, the Lysians struck silver and gold coins for purposes of trade. The Romans followed suit in 300 B.C.
We could track the pursuit of silver and gold to more recent times. The Spanish Conquistadors crossed the ocean in search of silver and gold in the New World. Silver and gold were highly valued by the Incas of central and south America, so they came to the right place.
And a desire for silver and gold very much a part of our American experience. On June 26, 1848, gold is found at Sutters Mill in California by James W. Marshall, igniting the California Gold Rush. 300,000 people crossed the American continent in search of gold.
And as recent as yesterday I saw a commercial which you probably did too, hawking gold as a hedge against “uncertain economic times, rushed to your door, In record time, so that you can have financial security and peace of mind.”
Silver and gold so much a part of history and culture, highly valued since ancient times, fashioned into tangible objects—religious items , jewelry, chalices and dinnerware and on and on.
WELL—as highly valued as silver and gold is, there is something of infinitely than silver and gold…the BLOOD OF JESUS CHIRST. “MORE PRECIOUS” says the apostle Peter, in his Epistle, “than silver ….and ….gold.”
What makes the blood, spoken of here, “of greater value” than silver and gold?
Well, it all comes down to whose blood it was….. the blood of Jesus Christ.
Blood is a valuable thing. People donate blood, sometimes, for money. In recent times, there has been a great blood shortage. Blood is considered a precious thing. It saves lives.
But as valuable as my blood and your blood, is, the blood of Jesus Christ is of far greater value. Why? Because he was, and is, the Son of God. Peter says: “You were ransomed from futile ways, inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
What’s that about?
That’s a reference to the Old Testament book of Exodus. You remember the story, don’t you? In Exodus chapter 12, the nation of Israel is held is slavery in Egypt. One final plague would be sent for their release. The “Angel of Death” will slay the first born of the land. The only way to escape certain death was to sacrifice a lamb without blemish. The blood was to be put on the doorpost, “For the Lord will pass through the Land of Egypt on that night, and will slay the firstborn of the land of Egypt….but when I see the blood of the lamb on the house where you are, I will pass over you.” The blood of this spotless Lamb, this lamb without blemish, caused the Angel of Death to pass over the house and not execute judgement.
Now fast forward to the New Testament. John the Baptist stands on the banks of the Jordan River. He points toward JESUS, and he says these words: “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.” A prophetic voice, for sure! The sinless Son of God, coming into the world as a Lamb without Blemish!” He has no sin, , says the book of Hebrews. HE is sent as a blood offering, an atoning sacrifice for the sins of humanity. This is the thought captured in John 3:16: “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD that he gave his only begotten Son.” In other words, GAVE HIM UP to death on the cross, for the sake of us all!
PETER Says: “You are ransomed from the futile ways of your forefathers.”” The ancient Jews, according to Exodus 30, following exodus from Egypt, were required to give a half shekel as an offering to the LORD, as “as an atonement for the soul.” (Ex. 30:12). Various rituals were employed to atone for sin, but really, they were all only a foreshadowing of that one great sacrifice, that ONE TRUE AND ALL SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE offered up on Good Friday as Christ shed his blood, on Calvary’s cross, for your sins and mine!