What Is The Sprinkling of 1 Peter 1:2?
Many denominations twist 1 Peter 1:2 to advocate that another mode of "baptism" is sprinkling - but that is not what this verse means. The sprinkling of the blood in the Old Testament was an essential component in the sacrificial system of the Law of Moses in Leviticus. Peter's audience were Jewish Christians who would have understood the background of this concept significantly (1 Peter 1:1).
While the blood of animals was the means by which the nation of Israel received atonement under the old covenant, no matter how much blood was sprinkled, "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4). There must have been a better way. It is the cleansing blood of Jesus that can wash away the sinner's sins (Hebrews 9:13,14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 6:3,4). The blood of Jesus will completely "cleanse your conscience".
According to 1 Peter 1:2, the blood of Jesus is applied to us figuratively in the same manner the blood was applied literally under the old covenant-by sprinkling.
In Hebrews 10:19-22, it is by the blood of Jesus that we have access directly into the presence of God by a new and living way (Hebrews 10:19-20). As the old covenant required a high priest for a person to have access to God, the new covenant has Jesus as the Christian's high priest. As a Christian we can draw near to God through faith, "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." So, in this passage, faith is turning from an evil conscience and being "washed with water" [perfect tense - having completed this action in the past that now has abiding results] with pure water, compare Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5). When we are immersed, we "appeal to God for a good conscience" (1 Peter 3:21), and God cleanses (that is, sprinkles) us with the blood of His Son (Acts 22:16).
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