January 2008 was going to be Holly's best birthday ever. I had surprised her with tickets to fly to Chicago and spend a week of vacation on the Magnificent Mile. I had been planning this for weeks. We were going to eat the world's best pizza, visit the country's best improv comedy club, munch on the world's best popcorn, take picture's from the country's highest skyscraper, and so much more! And I had paid a pretty penny to make this the best birthday ever. Between airfare, a 4-star hotel on the Magnificent Mile, and all the money on food and attractions I knew it was going to be perfect. Little did I know she'd spend the day before her birthday in a Chicago hospital.
That morning I made plans for us to visit Southport Grocery and Cafe, a little shop near Wrigley Field. We were going to enjoy their "grown up pop-tarts," which came highly recommended. After our delicious breakfast we were walking towards Wrigley to take pictures when Holly was hit by a car as she crossed the street. We spent the rest of the day in the hospital. Her birthday was a drug-induced emotional mess as I tried to make the best of our situation, rolling her in a wheelchair across the city until she just couldn't take it anymore.
Here's the thing about vacations: you can make great plans, and you can pay a high price. But none of us have the power to determine the outcomes. That's true of fallen human beings, but it is NOT true of our God. In eternity past He planned to glorify His Son by rescuing the wicked. He determined to save people from every tribe and language and people and nation. But God didn't just make a plan. He paid the ultimate price. The Father loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to live the life we couldn't live and die the death we deserved to die. But God isn't like a bad vacation planner. He doesn't just make a plan and pay the price. He has the power to determine the outcomes.
That’s the point Peter is making in verse 2: we are elected “for sprinkling with His blood.” Peter likely has in mind the ceremony in Leviticus 14 for the cleaning of lepers. The priest would take a blood of a slaughtered bird and sprinkle it seven times over the person needing to be cleansed of leprosy. The leper could then be restored to the covenant community seven days after this sprinkling. But the blood that cleanses us is far more costly. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)