He Suffered to Save You and Show You
The Apostle Peter’s first epistle is awesome. It’s also quite short. I encourage you to read it through many times during Lent.
One blessed truth that the Apostle Peter writes is that Jesus Christ’s suffering accomplished your salvation. He says so in 1 Peter 3:18:
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
According to this verse, why was suffering necessary? Because of sin.
Did Christ have sin in Himself? No, Peter calls Him, “the righteous.”
For whom then did He suffer? For me. Peter calls me, “the unrighteous.”
For what purpose did an innocent man endure the suffering which I deserve as the guilty one? Peter said Jesus did it so that He might bring us to God.
What did this saving act of Christ consist of? His death and resurrection. As Peter wrote, “being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
Therefore we rejoice! Christ suffered to save you! Repent of your sins again today and believe again that you are forgiven for Christ’s sake—because He suffered in your place, died, and rose for your salvation.
Another blessed truth that the Apostle Peter writes is that Jesus Christ’s suffering functions as an example to show us how to love our neighbors. He says so in 1 Peter 2:21:
“Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.”
According to this verse, for whom did Jesus suffer? For me!
Besides accomplishing my salvation, what did His suffering do? It gave me an example to live by.
What does following in His steps mean? It means I must endure undeserved suffering like Jesus did. It also means that when I am sinned against I must not repay evil with evil, but entrust myself to God who judges justly.
During the Lenten season of repentance and contemplation, meditate on God’s demonstration of love toward you in Christ’s death and resurrection. Then turn toward your neighbors and love them. Love them when they have sinned against you. Love them because you have been loved by God, against whom you have sinned. In all of this, entrust yourself to God, as He graciously invites us to do through Peter:
“2:19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”