“As you come to Him”
1 Peter 2:1-5 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ESV
Last time we went on to start to think about what Peter went on to say in verse 5 about those who come to Jesus as the “living stone” and what happens to them when they come. In that verse Peter continues by saying: “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.
We previously identified five things that Peter had to say in that verse about those who come to Christ as the living stone. They are:
1 What they come as
2 What they come to experience
3 What they come to be
4 What they come to do
5 What they come through (Our present section)
We then saw that they come as “living stones”. By that rather strange description Peter means that they come as building material that is alive because God, in His mercy, has caused them to be born again. What do they come to experience? Well, we saw that they experience “being built up as a spiritual house”. We saw that, by that, Peter means that they experience being built upon Christ as the foundation into the temple in which God the Holy Spirit dwells.
We’ll now go on to look at the last remaining point today. So, let us see:
How can such “spiritual sacrifices” offered by the likes of you and me possibly be “acceptable to God”? Well, that brings us finally to:
What they come through
The verse says: “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. So, what they come through is “Jesus Christ” and offering “spiritual sacrifices through Jesus Christ” makes those “spiritual sacrifices” to be “acceptable to God”.
So, what is it to come “through Jesus Christ”? It means to come through Him as our mediator. A mediator is one who is able to relate to and hold the respect of both parties in a dispute and to bridge the gap between them and then bring them together. We read in 1 Timothy 2v5-6 that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and men: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time”.
Why can Jesus mediate between God and men?
Well, He meets the requirements to be the mediator because Jesus is God made man. He is truly God so He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. But, He has also become truly human so that He shares our humanity with all its trials and hardships.
He’s at home in heaven. That’s where He belongs and yet He also faithfully represents human beings. The text in 1 Timothy 2v5-6 alludes to that by stressing that He is “the man Christ Jesus”. It also makes it clear that it’s not just that He meets the requirements; He actually is the mediator because He “gave himself as a ransom”. In doing that He acted on our behalf and He was accepted by God so He mediated between us and God.
How did He give Himself as a ransom?
Well, we’ve already looked at Revelation 5v9-10 in connection with us being a kingdom of priests but let’s look at it again because it also speaks of Jesus, the Lamb of God, being a ransom. It says: “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth””.
How did He ransom people to God?
He did it by His blood that was shed when He was put to death on the cross. So, He’s our mediator because He has shed His blood for us as the ransom price that is God’s justice demanded.
Hebrews 9v24 speaks of Him acting as our mediator before God: “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”. You see, He appears, not in an earthly temple, but “in the presence of God on our behalf”.
Consequently, we read in Hebrews 10v19-22: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that 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”.
The reason that we can come as priests to God with our spiritual sacrifices is because Jesus is our great high priest who has offered Himself as a sacrifice for us. He’s opened a new and living way so that we can come with confidence that we and the “spiritual sacrifices” we offer are “acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.
Dr. Steve Orr
Dr Orr has served the Body of Christ in the United Kingdom for many years and in various capacities (preaching, teaching, etc.,). Steve is a regular contributor to the pages of Christ My Covenant. His insights into the Word of God will serve you in your personal study of God’s Word. Learn of Christ!