A high price

We believe in Jesus Christ… who was crucified, died and was buried,
and descended into the grave.

I Peter 1:18,19

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
In the ancient world, slavery was part of everyday life; people usually became slaves as a consequence of bankruptcy or war. Although enslavement was not necessarily permanent, a slave could not just walk out of his slavery; he had to buy himself out (or be bought out by a relative or friendly benefactor). The Israelites were redeemed (‘bought back’) from slavery in Egypt by the death of the Passover lambs. In a very similar way, we have been redeemed from slavery to sin (“the empty way of life handed down from our ancestors”) by the death of Jesus on the cross.

Because of sin, the human race is in a state of estrangement from God and doomed to die. We are powerless to save ourselves, for nothing in this world is sufficient for such a redemption (Psalm 49:7-9). The only thing that could rescue us from humanity’s bondage to sin, idolatry and superstition was something enormously valuable and eternally durable: the death of God’s own Son.

To be indifferent to such a sacrifice would be to treat God’s precious gift with contempt. Jesus paid this immense price, not so that we could carry on living in our old ways but so that we could be transformed into a holy people (Hebrews 9:13,14). Just as the Israelites left Egypt for ever that Passover night, so we must abandon our pre-Christian lifestyle and set out on a new life with God.

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