Following in His Steps: (Chapter 2 Verses 11-25)
The faith life of Jesus is depicted here for us (vv23-25). When he suffered, he trusted his Father. You see the Son of God went through his earthly life on the same basis he wants us to, by faith, trusting God. Yes even when the chips are down, even when things are rough, even when you are being wrongfully accused and cheated. Do you remember the Easter scenes? Jesus before the Sanhedrin, and Pontius Pilate, how the soldiers treated him? The beatings, the mockery, the insults? Yet he never once lifted a hand, or a voice in threat. He could have called a legion of angels to his defense. Yes he could have saved himself, but he didn’t. He took it all, he trusted himself to his Father, he came to do his will, he came to suffer in our place, he bore it all. Now says Peter to these suffering Christians, you do the same, trust God. He was big enough to look after Jesus, he is big enough to look after you too. Here is the reason why Jesus took it (v24). To deal with our sins, to make us righteous, to heal us. Jesus died to deal with sin and all its consequences, our alienation from God, our sicknesses he bore too. And the bottom line is that the forgiveness and reconciliation has taken place, the wounds of sin are being healed, and one day in heaven it will be completed. Praise God!
The reminder is fitting (v25), we had gone astray (Isaiah 53.6), we were lost, without God and without hope in this world (Ephesians 2.12), but now, because of this phenomenal price that has been paid (1Peter 1.18-19; 2.24), we have been reconciled, brought back to God. Now instead of wandering aimlessly in this world, we have a Shepherd-guide, the ultimate Shepherd, who looks after and over us, a true pastor indeed. So it may be that these Christians will suffer at the hands of Nero and his like. It may be the slaves will suffer at the hands of their masters, it may be we will have to suffer these things too, and many other things. But Peter’s point is we shall never be without care, without oversight, without a real pastor. Jesus is ever looking after his sheep, he will never neglect them, he will never leave them, never forsake them (Hebrews 13.5b), no, not never.
The one who died for our sins, who displayed such love, such commitment to his Church, continues to do so. Rest today in this, whatever your circumstances as a Christian, that Jesus is committed to you now as much as when he went to that cross (Galatians 2.20).
(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)