”And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 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. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you, who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
1 Peter 1:17-21
I read this passage a few days ago for my devotions, and was a bit jarred by its bluntness. However, it’s the raw truth.
Too often I find myself calling God my Father and Friend. The problem is that by habitually calling and thinking of Him as such, I begin losing reverence for Him. I begin losing sight of the gruesome pain that Jesus endured in order to atone for my sins. I ask God for forgiveness when I’ve done wrong, asking to “claim the blood of Christ” to purify me. But I forget one important fact.
Strangely enough, I refuse to watch films with blood in them, and absolutely hate anything to do with the depiction or description of that substance. Why? Because quite frankly (laying aside the irony of knowing blood sustains me and I have about six liters of it flowing through me all the time), it scares me. It also disgusts me to a certain extent. I’m pretty sure that is the case with many people as well.
Why don’t I always remember that I’ve been purchased by blood; the life force of a human being? Why is it that I assume that Christ’s sacrifice was such an almost insignificant process, that I would continue to dare to say ok to temptation instead of striving to live a life of freedom that was bought for me through the shedding of His blood?
I appreciate the number of verses that continually to note that it was the “precious blood of Christ”. Blood is likely the most important possession of a human being (or any living creature, for that matter). It is not something one gives away freely. To give up one’s life for others is the most noble of sacrifices.
It’s the preciousness of the blood of Christ that needs to continue to remind us that we are not to keep calling Jesus our friend, but also our Savior, the person who was sacrificed to redeem us. On this note, calling God our Father is an extremely intimate privilege. After all, God is also the Creator and the Judge of humanity. We have been given the right to call Him by more personal names, but we should not forget that such a right was given through the ultimate sacrifice.
As such, I should not take the terms Father and friend for granted, but constantly remind myself of why I can even use them in the first place.