Thursday, February 26, 2015

1 Peter 3:18-22 (ESV)

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Christ was not immune to suffering. Although he had no sin of his own, it was the sacrifice of the righteous for the unrighteous that was required for our reconciliation. Christ’s sacrifice was so great that one sacrifice was all that was needed, instead of the day to day, week to week, year to year sacrifices previously required under the Law. Christ knows what it’s like to be human; to be tempted, to suffer, and even to be put to death. But death in the flesh gave way to life in the spirit. Baptism in Christ is an outward and visible symbol of our inward commitment to the Lord. This commitment and connection to him makes us coheirs with him, so that we too are promised the same life in the spirit.

Heavenly Father,
You clearly love us so much. The thought of you coming into this world only to suffer for our sins and offer yourself as a sacrifice on our behalf is overwhelming. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for a love so deep and strong. Lord, we ask that you draw us close to you, that you strengthen us in our commitment to you, and that when we are called from this world, you remember us as ones washed clean by the blood of the spotless Lamb, Christ Jesus.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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