Our living hope
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:1-2 CSB
The central theme of the book of 1 Peter is about our living hope. Historians place the letter’s writing to 64 A.D., which is right before Nero’s intense persecution of the church. Peter is a prime example of interacting with the Lord who deals in futures. If you ask a stranger about Peter, there’s a very good chance they would know of Peter, the rooster, and his denial of Christ. Peter spent the rest of his life from that point on speaking boldly of Christ. This letter is a letter of hope in the midst of pain and suffering, especially those who believe there isn’t a good outcome in life in the near future. Peter starts off the letter with a greeting, identifying his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ, one who walked with the Lord while He was here on earth. He distinguishes himself apart from other false apostles, like the ones we read about in Jude. He addresses the letter to “those chosen,” “according to the foreknowledge of God the father.” This distinguishes the believers, that although they are ordinary people, by God’s grace, He chose them, loves them, and is watching over them, having predetermined knowledge of their current circumstance, as well as the future. We read that they are dispersed abroad in what we know as modern-day Turkey. The readers of this letter are both Jew and Gentile. Although they may feel isolated, the Father is with them. Essentially, wherever you are in the world, do not despair and always have hope, for you are chosen by God and are cared for. Now, even when they are going through trials and pain, the Holy Spirit is still at work in their lives, “sanctifying” them. In so doing, we are called to be “obedient.” When we are going through the toughest trials, sometimes obedience towards God’s commands can be difficult. Yet, we should have hope and strength, for we serve a God who knows everything and is looking out for our spiritual wellbeing. The phrase, “sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ,” refers to how our salvation was bought through Jesus’ death on the cross, cleansing us (Hebrews 9:13-21). Finally, Peter reflects the shalom greeting, wishing wholeness and meaningful life, by speaking of the grace and peace we have received from Jesus Christ our Lord. Even in the midst of trials and uncertainty, our salvation is guaranteed, and while we are here on earth, we can put our trust and obedience in our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for, even when we feel like we are alone. Because of the death of Christ at the cross and eventual resurrection from the dead, those who placed their faith in Him have been born again to a living hope.
Isaac De Guzman