One of my wife’s favorite hooks from a TV commercial is one from Verizon. This young guy looks at a cute girl and asks, “Did it hurt much <pause> when you fell from heaven?” Back in the day, I was never that quick on the uptake.
While reading this morning’s “Verse of the Day,” on Biblegateway.com, I nearly missed the gem sitting all nice and pretty in the middle of this verse. I’m still slow on the uptake. Here’s the verse:
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. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV)
The important message here is the precious blood of Jesus. That is Paul’s purpose for writing this sentence. Still, there’s an extra gem, sitting there.
Paul writes, “…the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.” Now, many of us were raised in Jesus-centered families. Our parents, grandparents, and even further back, all served Jesus with vigor. What is the Holy Spirit saying to us?
What I see is that God has no grandchildren. The sin of Adam still runs through my blood as it ran through that of my fathers. From my biological lineage, each ancestor was a sinner, an empty life, which was carried forward in their progeny.
To enter into redemption each one of us individually comes to Jesus and are reborn, but that new birth is non-transferable. Mine is for me. My dad’s was for him. My grandpa’s was for him.
I’m probably failing to communicate what is stirring inside. There is something beautiful and emboldening when I consider that the lives of my fathers (and mother) are testimonies to 1 Peter 1:18-19. For each person looked and saw the emptiness of their mortal, corruptible inheritance and exchanged it for the incorruptible inheritance in Jesus.
For everyone that cannot look back and see Jesus, what a tremendous opportunity for you to begin that legacy. To refuse an empty inheritance and receive God’s gift to you through the blood of Jesus.
There is a beautiful song written some time ago by Twila Paris called, “70 Years Ago”. It fits well with this devotional.