You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Secular people in the West, and more primitive people in animistic tribes, have this in common: They believe in the power of ancestral bondage. They call it by different names. Animistic people may speak in terms of ancestral spirits and the transmission of curses. Secular people may speak of genetic influence or the wounding of abusive, codependent, emotionally distant parents. In both cases there is a sense of fatalism that we are bound to live with the curse or the wounds from our ancestry. The future seems futile and void of happiness.
When the Bible says, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers,” it is referring to an empty, meaningless, unprofitable way of living that ends with destruction. It says that these “futile ways” are connected with our ancestors. It doesn’t say how. The crucial thing is to notice how we are freed from the bondage of this futility. The power of the liberator defines the extent of the liberation.
The liberation from ancestral bondage happens “not with perishable things such as silver or gold.” Silver and gold represent the most valuable things that could be paid for our ransom. But we all know they are useless. The richest people are often the most enslaved to the futility. A wealthy tribal chief may be tormented by the fear of an ancestral hex on his life. A secular president of a successful company may be driven by unconscious forces from his background that ruin his marriage and children.
Silver and gold are powerless to help. The suffering and death of Jesus provide what is needed: not gold or silver but “the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” When Christ died, God had a view to the relationship between us and our ancestors. He meant to set us free from the futility we inherited from them. That is one of the great reasons Christ died.
No hex can hold against you, if your sins are all forgiven, and you are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and you are ransomed and loved by the Creator of the universe. The suffering and death of Jesus is the final reason why the Bible says of God’s peo- ple, “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel” (Numbers 23:23). When Jesus died, all the blessings of heaven were purchased for those who trust him. And when God blesses, none can curse.
Nor is any wound that was inflicted by a parent beyond the healing of Jesus. The healing ransom is called “the precious blood of Christ.” The word “precious” conveys infinite value. Therefore the ransom is infinitely liberating. No bondage can stand against it. Therefore, let us turn from silver and gold and embrace the gift of God.