Christ Is Our Example


1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Once more we come to a Communion Service. We gather around a table and partake of hard bread and a little grape juice. What do we commemorate when we do this which we call “The Lord’s Table”?

We have sanitized much of what Christ did in our Churches today. Look at the Cross behind me. It is a piece of craftsmanship, pretty to look at. The original Cross was not marked with wood stain and precious metals like silver and gold. It was a tree cobbled together. It was stained not with Minwax nor was it painted with Sherwin William’s. The Cross that Christ suffered on was an executioner’s chair. A raw tree stained with blood. Each criminal did not have his own Cross, but it was reused over and over again. It was horrible.

Those deemed criminals were made to carry the means of his death to an ancient landfill outside of the city gates. It was a place of death, decay, and disease. Once the criminal reached Golgotha – the “place of the skull” – he was not given the slightest comfort. His body was beaten so that his pain would be enhanced. He was forced to lay against the rough wood, and his hands and feet were nailed to the tree.

The criminal never died of blood loss. The executioners knew exactly where to drive the nails so as to avoid the major arteries of the human body.

Hanging between the heaven and the earth the criminal was literally strangled to death. If he wanted to breathe he had to pull upward so as to relax his diaphragm, tearing at the wounds in his hands and feet. When death came it was a sweet relief. If the criminal was unfortunate enough to linger beyond the setting of the sun his knees were shattered with a large wooden hammer. The Cross was the most devilish and most terrifying means by which a person could die. The French guillotine was terrible, then “Drawing and Quartering” of the Middle Ages was grisly, the American electric chair an awful means of death. But rising above all these methods of death and dying there stands the Godzilla of torture and execution, the Cross of the Roman Empire.

Jesus Christ went to that Cross for you and for me.

Jesus went to the Cross WILLINGLY.

John 10:17-18 (KJV) … I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself….

No one murdered Jesus. He was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Jesus is the second Adam Who would obey the Father, taking our punishment on Himself (Romans 5:17-19).

Jesus went to the Cross JOYFULLY.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) {Jesus} … for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus knew that His sacrifice would bring others into the Kingdom of God. Souls would be saved. The devil would be defeated. Jesus dreaded the suffering but did not turn away from it. “Now is My soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. (John 12:27). Jesus never wavered because of His great love for you.

Jesus went to the Cross KNOWINGLY.

Matthew 16:21 (KJV) … Jesus began to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Jesus knew what was coming, but surrendered to it anyway. He did this for you and I. He did this because He wanted us to be members of God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

Now let us look at our text and read it again carefully:

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Every Christian Is CALLED To Imitate Christ In Suffering

The Apostle says:

For even hereunto were ye CALLED

Every Christian is called of God. You have heard His Gospel. You have understood that you are a sinner. You know that you can only be saved by Grace. You heard the Spirit call, and heard Jesus call. You are a CALLED person.

You are called according to God’s purposes.

Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God made you on purpose for His purpose. You have purpose in Him, in Christ. Your life revolves around Christ, not around yourself. You are CALLED.

You are called to be the children of the Living God.

Romans 9:26 (KJV) … there shall they be called the children of the living God.

As Christ died for us, we die for others. We lay our lives down to reach others for Christ. We do not consider ourselves anything, but consider others greater than ourselves. We live in opposition to this world, knowing that it will hate us – but we love all anyway. Jesus said:

John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. {19} If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. {20} Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;….

Isn’t that suffering? The world will hate the Christian. The darkness always hates the light. Love them anyway. Do good. Jesus did good no matter what the pain. Do good.

You are called to be Saints.

A “Saint” is not a statue we worship, but a person set apart to follow Jesus. We are called to be saints (1 Corinthians 1:2), set apart and distinct from the world. Let others see Christ through you.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 (KJV) …. walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

It is our Call that defines us, not the world.

1 Corinthians 7:22-24 (KJV) For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

We are to live for God’s glory and for Christ’s smile. We are to follow His steps. We share this Lord’s Table TOGETHER because as brothers and sisters in Him …

We are called to love our neighbor as ourself.

Galatians 5:13-16 (KJV) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

As Christ went to the Cross loving, we too must take up His banner and follow Him. We must love others when suffering. In our suffering we are to be LIKE Christ so that others can SEE Christ in us. We are not to look at the darkness, but look to the light. Our Jesus kept His focus on God’s purpose, even when suffering,

Christ Kept His Focus On God’s Purpose

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

What were the “steps” that Jesus took when suffering on Calvary. Our text tells us:

1 Peter 2:22 (KJV) Who did no sin…

When we suffer, it is easy to allow the suffering to push us toward sinful behavior. How did Jesus respond. When He suffered He kept His eyes on the Father. Jesus suffered unjustly – there was no fault in Him. The trial judge called Pilate said “I find no fault in this Man”. When pressed to crucify Jesus Pilate …

Matthew 27:24 (KJV) … saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Pilate did wrong for convenience sake, and murdered rather than judged. And yet Jesus kept His eyes on the Father. Jesus was betrayed by a good friend named Judas Iscariot, who declared:

Matthew 27:4 (KJV) …. I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. …

and all of Christ’s disciples save John ran away and denied Him. Yet Christ did not sin. And as Jesus hung on Calvary between two thieves even then our Lord prayed for those who wrongfully accused Him, saying:

Luke 23:34 … Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. …

1 Peter 2:22 … neither was guile found in his mouth:

Jesus did not deceive, but spoke the truth in love. When He could have recanted the truths He came to present He refused to do so. He kept His eyes on the Father. Pastor John MacArthur said,

“Forgiveness is man’s greatest need. It is the only way that we can enter into fellowship with God and avoid hell, and that’s why Jesus prayed for it”.

These people did not need the judgment of God to rain down on them, but they needed God’s forgiveness. The Christian must understand this great truth! Everyone needs the Lord!

1 Peter 2:23 (KJV) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; 

As Jesus hung on that Cross suffering He was reviled, mocked, and purposely shamed. The Bible tells us:

Luke 23:34-37 …. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. {35} And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. {36} And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, {37} And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

The people stood beholding but not believing.
The rulers derided and drug Him down.
The soldiers mocked Christ, offering false comfort.
And all made fun of Him.
If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!

We would be tempted to shout out against this horror, but Christ kept His eyes on the Father. Even those who were crucified with Him made fun of Him.

Mark 15:32 … they that were crucified with Him reviled Him.

Yet Jesus did not revile those who reviled Him.

1 Peter 2:23 (KJV) …when He suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Jesus committed Himself to the hands of the Father. In the midst of terrible suffering Jesus reached out in love to the thief. He reached out to the Apostle John and His mother Mary.

John 19:26-27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! {27} Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

He kept doing the good that God called Him to do, ignoring His suffering, and looking to the Father. We who are His are called to do the same.

Keeping His Eyes On The Father Christ Triumphed

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Christ triumphed because He was not distracted from His calling. He gave Himself for you and I so that we can be the children of the Most High. We who belong to God in Christ are to have this same mindset. The Apostle says:

Philippians 2:4-9 (KJV) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Jesus lowered Himself in order to raise us up.
We who are His are to lower ourselves so as to raise others up.
Righteousness always brings lowering, not self exaltation.
Sin elevates self and in so doing destroys others.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The Lord’s Table reminds us that Christ lowered Himself for us. We are to lower ourselves, to give ourselves to others as He did. He was broken so that I could be made whole. He bled and died so that I could be covered and live. He gave expecting only our salvation. We are to do the same. This is a Table of Love. Let us come to it.

1 Peter 2:25 (KJV) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Let us imitate Christ!

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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