Christ Suffered & Left An Example

Photo by James Wheeler:

The last time we met I closed the sermon with:

1 Peter 2:21-24 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 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.

I thought this week to begin preaching through 1 Peter chapter 3. And yet, as I thought to do so, the Lord impressed on my heart that we need to more closely examine this passage – especially since today is Communion Sunday. Focus on these words for just a moment:

1 Peter 2:21 Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps

Christ Suffered For Us

The first part of this text I want to address is Christ suffered for US. Let’s define this. First of all, how did CHRIST SUFFER?

First of all, Jesus suffered DEMOTION for us

Jesus is the eternal Son of God, Heaven’s glorious King. When Jesus prayed before going to the Cross, He said:

John 17:5, 24 (ESV) … Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. … 24 … because you loved me before the foundation of the world…

God the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ was with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit before creation was ever made. The Bible tells us that Jesus had a part in Creation. We are told in …

John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

When the Father said “Let there be light”, His command ran through Jesus Christ. When the Spirit moved on the face of the water, the Spirit’s power ran through Christ. The Scripture says:

Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV) … For by {Jesus} all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Christ Jesus, God the Son, is Creator God. All of Creation was formed through him and for him. The Father decreed Creation because He gave it as a Gift to his Son. Creation itself is HELD TOGETHER because of Christ. It is the love of Christ that keeps an asteroid from space from hitting earth, wiping us out. It is the power of Christ that holds all things together. Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The Christian believes that:

1 Corinthians 8:6 … there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

When John the Revelator looked into Heaven, He saw Jesus sitting on a throne. All around Jesus there was worship, and casting of crowns, as the people praised God, saying:

Revelation 4:11 (ESV) “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

The Scripture tells us that …

Hebrews 1:2-3 (ESV) in these last days {The Father} has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the Heir of all things, through Whom also he created the world. 3 {Jesus Christ} is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…

Our Lord Jesus took a demotion, allowing Himself to be incarnate through a virgin called Mary. When the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to bear a Child, he said:

Luke 1:35 … The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Holy God the Son, ever Eternal, was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death (Hebrews 2:9-14). Jesus allowed Himself to be made a HOLY THING, Someone never before seen in all of creation. God became Man so that He could pay for the sins of Man. The Bible says:

Hebrews 2:9 (ESV) … that by the grace of God {Jesus} might taste death for everyone.

Man is fallen. We have wandered from God, and are lost in the wilderness of Sin. So God sent us a Healer, a Hero Who would stand up for us. Jesus was demoted from God to Man for us.

Second, Jesus suffered DISGRACE for us

When Jesus came to this earth, it was not to a ticker tape parade, nor to a celebration in the streets. Jesus Christ was born in a little town called Bethlehem. The Bible says:

Luke 2:7 (ESV) {Mary} gave birth to her firstborn son {Jesus} and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Heaven rejoiced in amazement when Jesus was born in the manger than night, but earth barely knew it. A few shepherds came to see the “HOLY THING” called Jesus, but when they went out to tell others what they saw …. no one came. Jesus grew up in a small town named Nazareth. After John the Baptist introduced Jesus as the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the Bible tells us that Jesus went out and began preaching. We read:

Mark 3:13, 20-21 (ESV) … {Jesus} went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve {Apostles}… 20 {Jesus} went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

His family thought Jesus had lost His mind. How could a Man be the Messiah? Yet Jesus declared He was the Messiah, that He was Eternal God in human form. Jesus told the Pharisees who constantly attacked Him:

John 8:58 … Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

Taking the most Holy Name of God to Himself. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was claiming to be God Incarnate, for they took up stones to cast at Him” (John 8:59). This was not the first time, nor the last, that the Pharisees would try and kill Jesus. Several times they tried to kill Jesus. When Jesus asked, “For what good deed are you going to stone Me?” (John 10:32). They replied,

John 10:33 (ESV) … “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. I have before proved it. But think, how hard it would be, knowing Who you are, to be stoned to death for declaring the truth. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Oh, how He was humiliated in this life! When Jesus healed people, the Pharisees said:

Matthew 9:34 & 12:24 … He casts out demons by the prince of demons …

When you do good, but it is slandered as bad, isn’t this a great hurt? Yes, Jesus suffered this. At any time He could have walked away, but He did not. The Prophet Isaiah said that when the Messiah came, His trademark would be suffering:

Isaiah 53:2-3 (ESV) … He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Oh, how Jesus suffered. With a wave of His hand
He could make it all go away.
His suffering shows us how evil sin is!

His suffering reveals to us the horror and ugliness of sin. It is sin that caused religion to slander Jesus. It is sin that hated Him Who did no evil. It is sin manifested outside the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus is taken. And yet it is the love of God that requires Jesus to walk that terrible green mile. The Bible says that – following a mock trial where false witnesses were hired to speak against Him – Jesus was turned over to the soldiers.

Luke 22:63-64 (NKJV) … the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?”

Though Pilate found no fault in this Man” (Luke 23:4), the crowd – drunk with sin – demanded His death. Release the murderer Barabbas, and crucify Jesus!” (Matthew 27:21). The soldiers took Jesus …

Matthew 27:28-31 (NKJV) they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

Then Jesus was crucified between two thieves. The Lord of Glory is nailed, naked, to a Cross, shamed and denied. Oh, how Jesus suffered! But the greatest suffering occurred when our sins were put on Jesus Christ and judged.

Did Christ Suffer For US Just To Take Us To Heaven?

The Bible says in Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

In English, a Rhetorical Question is one in which the questioner does not expect an answer. Jesus knew why He was forsaken. He was forsaken for our sins.

1 Peter 2:24 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.

Jesus bore our sins on His Body. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For {God the Father} hath made {Jesus} to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

God put my sins, your sins, on Christ.
Jesus suffered DEMOTION for us.
Jesus suffered DISGRACE for us.
And finally,

Jesus suffered DEATH for us

Paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus died on that Cross of Calvary. Jesus could heal the lepers, the cripples, the demon possessed, the blind, the deaf, the dumb. Jesus could cure the physical hurts that we as fallen creatures often find in these pitiful human frames. Yet

of all that Jesus healed, He could not fix the penalty of sin
for us without willingly giving up His life.

No one took Jesus’ life. Jesus willingly laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:15-17). Peter said, “Jesus, I will lay down my life for Your sake” (John 13:37). But Peter did not. He, like us, is broken. But Jesus said, I lay down My life. NO MAN TAKETH IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MYSELF” (John 10:18). Jesus laid His life down. Why? The Scripture says:

1 Peter 3:18 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:

Jesus suffered for our sins, not just to take us to Heaven, but to bring us to God. How does Jesus bring us to God? He paid for our sins. He sends the Holy Spirit to call us. He is calling you to believe and receive Him, if you have not done so already. The Bible says Christ suffered FOR US. Who is the US? It is those who have RECEIVED HIM as Lord and Savior. The Bible says:

John 3:15-16 That WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE … 16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.

Christ suffered for us to HEAL US OF OUR SINS. It is sin that is destroying America today. Sin is a fire that burns down all that is good. Sin brings disease, and death.

Jesus Christ came to KILL OUR SIN DEBT, to make us right with God, to bring us into the FAMILY OF GOD, to take us from darkness and into the wonderful light of God!

Jesus said, John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jesus did not suffer for us to give us an eventual home in Heaven with God. Jesus suffered and died to make payment for our sins so that He might bring us into the Family of God. The Bible says:

Acts 10:43 … whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins …

Romans 9:33; 10:11 … whosoever believeth on Him shall NOT be ashamed …

Those who believe in Jesus are saved from sin and darkness. God did not save us just to take us to Heaven, but to bring Heaven to us.

We who are saved are CALLED to be sons of God,
imitating THE Son of God.

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:

Jesus’ death paid for our sins so that we could be made right with God. But listen:

Preach This!

Couldn’t Jesus have just became human, and go to Calvary to pay for our sins?
Why did He have to be born of Mary?
Why did He have to grow up in Nazareth?
Why did
Jesus have to suffer so much prior to and at the Cross?
Why was Jesus DEMOTED, DISGRACED, and brought to DEATH?

Word Study: Because Jesus is our Example. As Children of God, Jesus established a pattern we are to copy. The word translated EXAMPLE” is the Greek word hupogrammos {hoop-og-ram-mos’}, a very interesting word. The best way I know how to explain this word is to go back to grade school. I remember when I was very young and in school, we had these pads of paper with lines and dots on them. The lines and dots were there so that us children could properly form our letters. The teacher would tell us to form the letter “A”, then we would watch her as she formed the letter. We would try to copy her letter just as she formed it. In the very front of our writing pads we had a set of examples showing us how the letters should be properly formed. These examples were writing copies, the Greek hupogrammos {hoop-og-ram-mos’}. Jesus Christ is the hupogrammos, the writing copy. As our Writing Copy we are commanded to follow his steps. This is the Greek epakoloutheo {pronounced ep-ak-ol-oo-theh’-o} + ichnos {pronounced ikh’-nos} = which means to follow closely in the tracks or impressions of . What is intended for us is that we stay close to Jesus, following so close to Him that our tracks perfectly fit in His. Jesus gave us a pattern to follow.

Saved by Grace, we are to live in Grace. God has given us the Example as to how He wants us to live.

1 Peter 2:23Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:

When Jesus was attacked, He did not attack back.
He left vengeance in the hands of the Father.

Illustrate: I have recently watched with horror as, in our political system and on social media, people are attacking one another. One side pours acid on the other, and then the other side pours lighter fluid. What is this doing for our country? It is burning it down. The Bible says:

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Word Study: The lost world uses terrible tactics to attack each other. Beloved, the sons of God are to be like THE Son of God. What did Jesus do? When He was reviled, reviled not again. Jesus glorified God in His life, though He was hated without a cause. Jesus never fought fire with fire. The word reviledis the Greek λοιδορέω loidoréō, {pronounced loy-dor-eh’-o}, which means “to heap abuse upon someone, to reproach and tear down another”. Jesus refused to play Satan’s game. When He suffered, He threatened not”. Jesus trusted in the Father. He did not seek to avenge Himself though He could, with but a whisper, have destroyed all of creation. Jesus will not – would not – do that. He came to save, not to destroy.

Do you know my Jesus?

If you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are called to follow in His steps. You are not to be a part of the evil that darkens our world today. You are called to “walk in the light, as Jesus is in the light” (1 John 1:7). We are children of Light, of Love, of God. We obey our Jesus. We end with this:

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

Jesus is our Shepherd and our Bishop. We follow Him if we are saved. And Beloved, if you are not saved …. would you hear His call? Would you believe He died for your sins, to bring you to God? If you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, today is a GREAT DAY to be saved. May God lead you to the Great Shepherd Who laid His life down – and continues to lay His life down – for His sheep. Amen and amen!

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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