“knowing that you were ransomed from the 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. (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
The theme of redemption is central to the Bible and our Christian faith. If you are a Christ follower you have been redeemed, purchased, ransomed and the price was the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But what’s interesting is Peter says ” not with perishable things such as silver or gold”, why did Peter use silver and gold? We will get back to that in a second. As you can see redemption was the theme for our Sunday morning service from Exodus 30: 11-16.
The passage goes over the census tax. When they took a census the people of Israel of the age of 20 and up would have to pay a half a sheckel which came out to about 2/5ths of an ounce. According to Eastons Dictionary the sheckel was,
The common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The “shekel of the sanctuary” (Exodus 30:13; Numbers 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chronicles 21:25), of silver (1 Samuel 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones.
As we read in the passage the people were to give a half a sheckel for the ransom of their lives. For those who didn’t pay they would be punished with a plague. The collected sheckels would go to the service of the tent of meeting. Bro. Steve pointed out three characteristics of God we see in this passage.
We see that God is love. God lovingly rescued the people of Israel from enslavement to Egypt. He became their redeemer, deliverer and Savior. Now God is lovingly guiding them into truth and how to come to Him in worship. God is love and he lovingly provides a way for rescue, ransom, redemption for His people.
We see God’s mercy. God’s mercy is on display way back when he selected Abraham and his descendants to be his people. God proclaimed to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. (Exo. 33:19). God’s mercy chose the Israelites and God’s mercy redeemed them and God’s mercy provides a ransom for them.
We see God’s love and God’s mercy, but we also see God’s wrath. God promises a plague on those who do not offer the ransom. God is a loving and merciful God, but His holiness requires punishment for disobedience. In this case it was a plague.
God’s love has provided a ransom for us also. That ransom is Jesus. Through Christ we are purchased by grace through faith. His mercy allows us to come to Him through His Son even though we are so undeserving. For those who reject the Son, there is a promised Judgement. When that day comes, God’s time of mercy will be done and what awaits for those who refuse God’s Son is eternal seperation and punishment. Are you redeemed?
Could it be that Peter had this passage in Exodus in mind when he says you were not ransomed “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ”. I think so, good word Bro. Steve.
Until next week
Soli Deo Gloria