Learning From Christ
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Tuesday, 12 February 2013
1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
2 Corinthians 13:4
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
After teaching his readers how to prepare themselves for times of opposition and persecution, Peter now illustrates them through the examples of Christ (v.18) and Noah (vv.19-20) who went through hostility in their life times.
In verses 18 Peter says, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."
As it was in chapter 2 verses 21-23, here also Peter uses Christ as an example to teach the readers how to bear sufferings. This fact is evident as Peter connects verse 18 to the preceding passage which discusses Christian’s preparation for suffering with the connective particle "For."
First, Peter describes how Jesus suffered and died - "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, . . . . being put to death in the flesh." Jesus died as a just person because of the hatred of the unjust. When we believers, the sinners saved, suffer persecution, criticism, or even death, we must remember that we are just following our Lord who walked through the path of suffering (C.f. 2:21).
Second, Peter talks about the result of His suffering - "that He might bring us to God." The word "bring" (prosago) is often used to describe the introduction of a person to another. Jesus came that He may bring those who believe in Him to the Father’s presence (C.f. John 14:6). He died on the cross bearing our sins that we may have access to God's presence. It was symbolically demonstrated when the veil of the Temple ripped from top to bottom, opening the Holy of holies to the view of all worshippers (C.f. Matthew 27:51).
Thirdly, Peter delineates the triumph that followed the sufferings and death of Christ - "being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." The Greek word for "quickened" (zopoietheis) is used in almost all its appearances in the New Testament with the idea of giving life or making the dead alive. Though cruel men took Christ's life, the Spirit of God made Him alive.
Our Lord suffered, and died bearing a good testimony (as a just man) for the remission of our sins. God also gave Him the triumph over death by the Holy Spirit. We must endure our sufferings like Him, bearing a good testimony. God shall give the triumph in His time.
"Man of sorrows" what a name, For the Son of God, who came for the ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
My Redeemer, it's my honour to be like Thee! Help me, Saviour!