Friday, April 24, 2009

Follow in Christ's Footsteps

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. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 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. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 2:21-24

I have been meditating and thinking about this passage the past couple of weeks and decided to share it with you guys. This passage is primarily a call to follow Christ's example, but it's also talking about the greatness of Christ's sacrifice for us on the cross. When you are suffering for the cause of the gospel, follow in Christ's footsteps. Christ was reviled, Christ was threatened, Christ was beaten, Christ was tormented, Christ was mocked at, Christ was spat at, Christ was horribly whipped, Christ was silent in the face of death, but even through all that, he entrusted himself to the Father's plan. That plan was to redeem our poor, lost, hopeless souls and transfer us into the Father's arms with hope, assurance, and eternal joy that could have only come from the sacrifice of our dearly, beloved Savior. He paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin has left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow. Amazing.

Jesus Christ entrusted himself to the one who judges justly because he knew what was awaiting for him when he obeyed the Father. Hebrews 12:2 says, "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God." The joy of bringing home the Father's hopeless, lost children, and the eternal joy and rewards of His obedience. That is why he continued in an utmost perseverance to face the utter torment and horrors that the cross brought. The cross brought the physical pain, the horrors of becoming identified with our sin, and the pain of being abandoned by the Father as the Father poured out His full, complete, furious, righteous wrath against His beloved Son. We will never begin to comprehend or even fathom what Jesus experienced on that horrific day. Good for us, but mightily horrific for Him. What amazing grace and mercy that he poured out upon us?

Finishing up the final part of the verse, Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the highest, difficult, most greatest calling that God could have ever given a Christian--- dying to sin and living to righteousness. Humans struggle everyday with this exact topic. A good way to look at it is to start with the first verse of Hebrews 12. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..." The great cloud of witnesses in verse 1 is talking about the saints in Ch.11, who persevered. Since they persevered, you can too. Lay aside every weight and sin that so easily clings to us and look to Jesus, who saved our lost souls from eternal damnation. Another way to look at it is to go back to Hebrews 4. Hebrews 4:13 says, "And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." We will one day, stand before Him, and give account for everything that we have done. He knows all, sees all, and we will stand before him one day giving an account for all we have done--- good and bad. That should be enough to keep us from sinning. We will be giving an account to the God of the universe. I think dying to sin would be a better idea than continuing to sin in defiance of God. It is an excellent idea, but impossible to do it in perfection. If you are dying to sin and living to righteousness, you are on the right track. Keep it up. There are many people who have persevered before you. Continue and persevere in the grace of God. By His wounds we are healed.

Follow Christ in His Footsteps.


Bethany said...

Thank you for the encouragement. It came right at the perfect time.

A sister in Christ,

~Miss Rose~ said...

Wonderful post! Amen a thousand times! :D You have a very nice blog. Hope you don't mind if I follow?

God bless!
In Christ,
~Miss Rose

Courtney said...

To sin in defiance of God is a very sad and scary thought.

Convicting and encouraging post.


Josh said...

I'll say it again, Great post!
Thanks for the challenging and covicting thought food.

Hope ypur doing well.

Elliot said...

Just in case you didn't catch this over at [the other] Joshua's blog, thanks so much for praying, Joshua, and please keep on praying for Landon's family. I'm sure your prayers are much appreciated.


Regan Family Farm said...

Thanks, Josh. Keep the encouragement coming...I wish I had friends like you and Rachel when I was newly saved (at 21). God is using technology in neat ways to connect and encourage all you young people (mine included!)
God bless! Mrs. Regan

Layman Pastor said...

Amen, brother. Preach it!