These final two verses of 1 Peter 2 are very encouraging, and present the message of the gospel in a nutshell: We were sinners, and the sacrifice of Christ restored us into a right relationship with God.
Peter gives his readers, both those who were his contemporaries as well as later readers, some very encouraging words as he finishes up this section of suffering unjustly. Remember, this is in the context of submission, and more specifically, his instructions to those who were slaves. He gives the ultimate example for them in the suffering of Jesus Christ. And although this was written to slaves, the principles hold true for any of us.
Jesus is the example that we should follow. And what Jesus accomplished through his unjust suffering restored us into a relationship with our Creator. What could be more encouraging than that?
Peter finishes this section with a look at the death of Christ, which he willingly experienced in order to make us righteous. He presents the message of the gospel as simply and succinctly as it can be presented: Christ bore our sins on the cross. He died for those sins, in order to make me righteous. That’s good news!
Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.
On this day in history: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S. It is a federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, and is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later, in 1986. Read more about MLK Day here.
Cold Brew Dripper Tutorial – It’s cold outside, and what would be better than some great cold drip coffee? In fact, a good iced coffee sounds really good right now. Here’s a tutorial on how to make good cold drip coffee using a dripper. Note, this is different than a cold brew coffee, which you can drink hot. This is a separate method, and I think it may be my next coffee purchase. You can find it on Amazon.
How To Set Up Your Desk – As a culture, we are driven towards productivity and efficiency, maybe too much. But it does have its benefits. This post describes how to best set up your workspace, in this case, an office desk, for maximum potential.
This final section of Peter’s second chapter is a great summary of the message of the Gospel. Christ suffered on our behalf, so that we could enjoy eternity with God. That suffering was intense, and yet he bore it without complaint. That is the message of Easter!
As we read this, we must remember the context: Peter is writing this to believing slaves, who faced unjust treatment by their masters. Peter encourages them to stand firm, submitting to their authority, and uses this example of the suffering of Christ to underline his point. However, this lesson is applicable to us all.
Following the pattern of Christ is the challenge slaves were faced with in this time period, especially if they were believers and their master was not. Peter encourages them by using the example that Jesus set as a call for them to follow. Jesus suffered without retaliation. He accepted their insults. He took the punishment and the beatings, and the scourging, and the mockery, and finally the cross, without striking back, or getting even, or even threatening.
He suffered because he trusted the Father. Peter explains that in this passage, in the latter half. Jesus entrusted himself to God and his will, because he knew that God’s plan was perfect, and that , in the end, it would result in salvation for all those who also placed their trust in the Father.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Over the past couple of years, I have developed a deeper interest in early Christian history, and even more, pre-Christian history. I have enjoyed digging into the beliefs and events surrounding the communities at Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, and other events and occurrences during the late second temple period of Jewish history.
As a result, I read the book of 1 Enoch, and other period literature, as well as some more contemporary accounts of this time period. Most recently, I finished reading The Watchers In Jewish and Christian Traditions.
I found it to be very interesting and thought provoking. The concept of the Watchers comes from a brief statement found in Genesis 6, about the sons of God and the daughters of men. This small portion of Scripture has produced volumes of historical speculation and study, including 1 Enoch.
I feel that this is based on a faulty interpretation of this passage, and that the information contained in this short excerpt from Genesis 6 has been taken to mean something that it does not. My own views notwithstanding, I have enjoyed studying what other interpretations have been over the centuries. The Watchers is a great overview of that course of study. Each chapter is written by a different scholar, and provides an overview of the concept of “watchers,” the offspring of the sons of God and daughters of men, throughout these various periods of Jewish and Christian history.
On this day in history: In 1493, Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, mistakes manatees for mermaids. In 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first successful balloon flight in the U.S. And in 1902, New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.
Aeropress Traveling – I love my Aeropress. It is one of the most simple, and tasty, ways to make coffee on the go. It usually finds its way into my bag whenever I travel, whether that is an overnighter, or for a longer period of time. If you don’t have one, you need one. Here’s the one I have.
10 Tips To Look Smart Fast – I love to look my best. More and more, I dislike looking sloppy and shoddy, even around the house. Here are a few tips to looking your best, and in this case, smarter.
5 Common Mistakes People Make Spending Their Time – I am all about being efficient, and being productive. As a result, I have made several tweaks and changes to my daily routines that help me make the most of my time. But sometimes, it’s good to get the big picture overview. This article sums that up nicely.
Read Scripture: Ecclesiastes – One of the books we tend to skip over, if inadvertently, is the book of Ecclesiastes. But this short book in the middle of the Old Testament is full of practical wisdom and sage advice for our lives, even today in the twenty-first century!