OAKRIDGE BIBLE CHAPEL

A Lamb Unblemished and Spotless (1 Peter 1:17–19)

This morning we have walked with the Lord Jesus up to Calvary’s mount. Beginning with the prophets who predicted the coming of one who would endure agony in the place of those who actually deserve it, we then followed this Suffering Servant into the Upper Room where his inevitable death was commemorated in a meal, one which we then shared in remembrance of his sacrifice. We then followed Jesus from the fellowship of the last supper to the loneliness of the garden to the sting of his betrayal to the corruption of his trials and, finally, to the horrific injustice and brutality of his crucifixion.

Jesus did all of that for you and for me. Jesus left the glories of his heavenly throne room, condescending to take on suffocating flesh for you and for me. Jesus was mocked, hated, attacked, and rejected by the very people he came to save for you and for me. Why? And how are we to respond?

SERMON MANUSCRIPT 

“Marvellous grace of our loving Lord / Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt / Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured / There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.” 

This morning we have walked with the Lord Jesus up to Calvary’s mount; travelled alongside this “dead man walking” toward the cross of his execution, that which is also the cross of our salvation. 

Beginning with the prophets who predicted the coming of one who would endure agony in the place of those who actually deserve it, we then followed this Suffering Servant into the Upper Room where his inevitable death was commemorated in a meal, one which we then shared in remembrance of his sacrifice. We then followed Jesus from the fellowship of the last supper to the loneliness of the garden to the sting of his betrayal to the corruption of his trials and, finally, to the horrific injustice and brutality of his crucifixion.

Jesus did all of that for you and for me. Jesus left the glories of his heavenly throne room, condescending to take on suffocating flesh for you and for me. Jesus was mocked, hated, attacked, and rejected by the very people he came to save for you and for me. Why? And how are we to respond?

To answer those questions I want to read for us a few more verses, this time from Peter’s first letter; the same Peter who followed Jesus, denied Jesus, was restored by Jesus, and was sent by Jesus. That same Peter writes this to a group of Christians:

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.

1 Peter 1:17

Peter’s saying that if we, as Christians, address God as our Father—and we do—our lives should be marked by reverence for him. If we have an intimacy with the God of all Creation—and we do—that should give us pause. Why? Because that same God judges without partiality, without favourites, without corruption or prejudice. The same God we have the privilege of going to as our Father is the same God who sees all, knows all, and can do all, and he judges perfectly and totally.

That means that every wayward thought, every imperfect intention, every selfish action, every greedy deed, every little white lie, every spark of jealousy, every twinge of malice, every sin of commission and commission—all of it is seen, noted, and condemnable before the impartial judge of the universe. As he himself says in the verse immediately preceding the one I read: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

That’d be terrifying if Peter stopped there but he doesn’t, praise God.

… conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 

1 Peter 1:17b–19

Speaking to Christians, Peter says, remember that the God you call ‘Father’ is holy, demands holiness, knows you fall short of holiness, and judges unholiness. But you were redeemed. You were fully rescued from that judgement. You were totally liberated from that penalty. You were absolutely set free from that un-payable debt!

How? Well, remember, it wasn’t “with perishable things,” like money, resumes, houses, or reputations. Those things come and go and mean nothing in God’s courtroom. And remember, it wasn’t with “your futile way of life” either, like church-going, moral living, charity supporting, Bible reading, prayer offering, contrition showing, confession offering, oppression fighting, cause supporting. These aren’t necessarily bad things but they are futile, Peter says, useless when it comes to making up for unholiness before a holy and impartial judge.

So, how are Christians redeemed, set free from the just consequences of our unholiness? “With precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 

Jesus Christ, truly human, died the unjust death of a sinner. The Bible says that, in that sacrificial act, God made Christ “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).

And Jesus Christ, truly God, was able to make a sacrifice that stretches into eternity because he is eternal. The Bible says that he offered “one sacrifice for sins for all time … for by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb 10:12, 14).

The sacrifice of Jesus, the life of the Messiah, the shed blood of the God-Man is the only detergent strong enough, pure enough, and eternal enough to cleanse our filthy, unholy lives. But it can and it does if we apply it by faith.

Salvation—freedom from the debt we owe because of our sins against our Creator—is a gift from that Creator to humanity. But, like all gifts, it must be opened. And this one is only opened by faith. [John 3:16] While every other religion and pursuit of purpose in this world says “Do, do, do, do!” Christianity says, “done, done, done, done!” Jesus did it all on that cross, suffering and bleeding and dying for you and for me. And he slides that gift across the table to us and says, “open it and experience the forgiveness and freedom I offer.”

You see, as we’ve walked with the Lord Jesus up to Calvary’s mount this morning; travelled alongside this “dead man walking” toward the cross of his execution, we remember that we’re also walking toward the cross of our salvation. 

Let’s thank him for that now.

 



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Josiah has served the Oakridge Bible Chapel family as one of its elders and one of its pastoral staff members since September 2018, before which he ministered as an associate pastor to a local congregation in the Canadian prairies. Josiah's desire is to be used by God to help equip the church for ministry, both while gathered (edification) and while scattered (evangelization). He is married to Patricia, and together they have five children—Jonah, Henry, Nathaniel, Josephine, and Benjamin.

Josiah Boyd

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