Jesus’ Saving Death
I Peter 2:21-25; I Peter 3:18
When I was a kid, we used to play a game called “Follow the Leader.” In this game, we would all line up in a straight line and one person would be designated the leader. We who followed were expected to do as the leader did or to follow his command, to follow his lead.
In I Peter we are introduced (or reintroduced) to the fact that Christ suffered, and Christ Died. When we look upon the suffering of Christ, and the death of Christ, we better understand the words in which Peter was saying. Because we love God, love Christ and are so touched by his sacrifice and death then it becomes an honor to follow his example and suffer as Christ suffered.
In the times that Christ lived society was less governed by right and wrong, but by honor and shame. You made decisions on what would bring you, or your family honor. You shied away from decisions that brought shame upon you or your family. Therefore, if you were a follower of another, and that person suffered for their beliefs, then it would bring you honor to suffer in similar fashion. Likewise, if you were a follower of another and then shrank from the same sufferings, you would bring shame and dishonor upon yourself, and even upon the one you said you followed.
Christ suffered and died, that we might have life, and by choosing to honor Christ and follow him, then we will consider it an honor to suffer as Christ suffered. Christ, was not always accepted for what he believed and taught. Christ miracles were often misunderstood. As we spread the gospel message to our family, friends, and the communities in which we live our actions, our motives, our message will not always be accepted and we to may suffer for what we believe as Christ suffered.
Because of Christ death and our acceptance of Him and His sacrifice, as Christ died, so we have died to sin so that we can live to righteousness. Paul uses very similar language in Romans 6:11, when he urges his readers, “Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Christians are in the process of making real in their lives what God has already done for them. We have died to sin; therefore, we should live as though we are dead to sin! As Christ has died, so to must self, die to sin.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.