Reading: 1 Peter 1:1-5.
In chapter two we briefly took note of the great change which came about by the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus as represented by the former expectations and hopes of Peter, as representing both the other apostles and all devoted Jews of their time, and what has now become the living reality of their new spiritual experience and position.
Now, having noted the inclusive statement that by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead a new form of things and a new realm of things has been opened up and entered into, we might just note one or two of the things mentioned; the blessings of this new realm and in this new form.
Election Through Grace
The first is the election. "Elect... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father". The whole idea of the election has been transformed for Peter. Before it was the election of Israel as an earthly nation and people, but that has disappeared for the time being with even such as Peter. There surely was no need for the Lord Jesus to come and die and rise again to secure the election of Israel. That was something already done in Abraham. The covenant was with Abraham, and his seed was elect. Israel as an earthly people was an elect people, and they were secured by the former, or the first, covenant. There was no need for the Cross to bring that about, it was done. The Cross carries us through into an altogether different realm and we find now, because of the Cross, the elect goes beyond Israel and it is all a matter of grace. In the old dispensation, it would have been something like treachery, if not blasphemy, to speak about a Gentile being elect and coming into the covenant. You could not have sung that hymn, in the old Israelitish dispensation, "He makes the rebel a priest and a king". They were very particular about their kings and priests that they should be pure Israelitish seed. A rebel a priest and a king? That is grace, that is the new covenant: the new realm and the new form of things. That is what Peter is writing about now.
"Elect... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" - and here the word 'Father' carries us into another realm of a new family, a new birth. It is not the old Israelitish idea of God their Father. It is something now of grace. It is not connected with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it is connected with the Lord Jesus, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4). It is another realm secured by grace.
Sanctification of the Spirit
"In sanctification of the Spirit" (v.2). Here again a change is marked. The old sanctification was ceremonial, ceremonial by reason of external rites and ceremonies. The old sanctification was entirely an external thing. Here it is a new dispensation and a new realm and a new order. It is sanctification in the Spirit; something quite different.
The Blood of Sprinkling
"Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (v.2), or the blood of sprinkling. But a vast difference is marked between Sinai and the blood of sprinkling which followed the giving of the law, which was the blood of condemnation and of judgment that any who failed would die. This again is the blood of sprinkling unto Life, not unto death; unto justification, of faith, not unto condemnation; unto liberty, the law of liberty, not unto bondage. The blood here sets free; the blood in the old time led into bondage. That is, the old covenant and the law was one of bondage, of condemnation, of judgment, of something hanging over your head all the time of which you would be afraid. The blood of sprinkling of Jesus Christ is something quite other. There is no condemnation, there is no hanging over the head of threats. There is liberty through this precious blood.
And all this is carried through by the Divine Trinity. You notice they are all here. God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Spirit. The foreknowledge of God the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, the blood of Jesus Christ - the whole Divine Trinity and Godhead moving in grace.
A Living Hope
And then this emerges into the hope. What a different hope! At best the old hope was Canaan, the land, Jerusalem - earthly, temporal, but now 'begotten to a living hope'. It is another hope; not earth, but heaven; not temporal, but eternal. It is another hope, another inheritance, incorruptible. That could never have been said of Canaan or of Jerusalem, "undefiled, and that fadeth not away " (v.4) that could never have been said in the old dispensation. No, those things do not belong to anything here, but they belong to the new inheritance in the new place, and this all by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
These are only observations. They are not by any means an exhausting of the content and the implications, but they help us to note what a tremendous thing has happened for Peter, for his brethren, and for us, by the death of the Lord Jesus.