But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (The Message)
Peter, through his letter to the churches in Asia Minor, is speaking to us and our duty to do God’s work. Even though he had certain people in mind, God’s heart is for the Bible to reach everyone, everywhere. Therefore, this pertains to us also, because now we are the church, and the mission of the church has not changed nor will it change until Jesus returns. Jesus is the High Priest and when He comes He will replace us as priests here on earth. Until then we are to, “speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he has made for [us].”
In the Old Testament, the job of the priests was to sacrifice animals on the altar as atonement for the sins of the people. Theirs was a job of intercession, to pray for the people and offer the blood as repentance for sin.
The blood symbolizes payment for sin. The Old Testament even tells what animal is needed for each transgression. Because the people continued in their sins, and blood is what atones for that sin, the practice of sacrifice was ongoing. The people brought their offerings as a confession of their sins, and the priest offered the animal and the blood, which symbolized a plea for pardon.
But the blood of bulls and goats cannot permanently pardon sin; therefore, the practice had to be continuously followed until the time of Jesus. The people continuously broke God’s commandment (the law) so continual blood sacrifices were needed. Jesus was perfect and He kept the law completely. He never did wrong, only good. But He offered Himself, the perfect Lamb of God, to be the blood sacrifice that takes away our sin. Yes, we still sin, but when we do, instead of offering an animal sacrifice, we “plead the blood of Jesus” over our sin. There is no more need to spill blood. The Lamb of God spilled His blood once for all, and it’s all we will ever need to atone for our sins.
Then, Peter says that our job, as those chosen by God, is to spread the word about Jesus, to tell others about the Gospel, backed up by the change in our lives that occurred when we accepted Jesus as our Savior–to tell them how to have it all, something precious that will last for all eternity, long after this world is no more. And we can offer sacrifices for them as we pray for them and with them, asking the Lord to bless and keep them, through the power of the blood of Jesus.
If you have not already accepted the call to go and preach the gospel, will you accept it now? If you have accepted God’s call, how can you begin to spread this message far and wide?