We are going to finish off 1 Peter chapter 2 today: 1 Peter 2:21-25
v21: This: Unjust suffering. G-d has called us and equipped us to suffer. We do not need much equipping or anointing to live a life of luxury. But we need grace and anointing for suffering.
- Messiah suffered… to leave us an example: Through His suffering,Yeshua demonstrated to us how we are to behave when we too experience unjust suffering. He did not fall to pieces or cry out in anger. He did not speak back words of insult to those who were insulting Him. He suffered like a lamb – and this is the example that He has given to us to emulate.
- Follow: [ἐπακολουθήσητε (epakolouthēsēte)] This word is a little bit more intense than to simply just follow after. It is a word that means to pursue after, to chase doggedly after. The idea is chase after with purpose and with intent, rather than to just follow aimlessly and take whatever comes (Phil 3:10 – Paul knew that it was in the times when he suffered for his faith that he experienced the most of Messiah, the intimacy of Messiah, in his life).
- (Foot)steps: Yeshua’s footsteps took Him to the cross, to death. Why would we expect to walk a different path to this one?
v22: Quoted from Isaiah 53:9. The New Testament writers often fell back on the OT writings in order to confirm that what they were saying was Biblical and therefore truth.
- Who: Speaking about Messiah.
- Committed no sin: This phrase is set within the context of suffering unjustly.We are called to suffer unjustly – although we have done nothing deserving of suffering (just like Messiah did not deserve to suffer on the cross) – and in that suffering to not sin
- Guile: Deceit
v23: (literally) “Who when insulted did not insult in return; when suffering He did not make any threat to them, but entrusted to the One who judges righteously.”
Insulted: [λοιδορούμενος (loidoroumenos)] The Greek word is a much stronger word than just being insulted. It is speaking harshly and cruelly against someone else (Matt 26:67-68).
- He did not make any threat to them: Yeshua, with all power and authority at His disposal, never threatened or taunted the people who were reviling Him. Instead, the words that came out of His mouth were words of forgiveness (Luke 23:34). Through His barbaric crucifixion, Yeshua did not think of Himself, but was concerned for the spiritual well-being of His tormentors. Through the grace that G-d provides, we, too, can follow this incredible example that Yeshua has left for us. Yeshua surrendered to what they were doing to Him.
- The One who judges righteously: We have a perfectly righteous Judge. We do not need to take things into our own hands for retribution and vengeance (Rom:19). We are not given grace in order to take out our wrath on others.
Note: In the NKJV the word ‘Himself’ (written in italics) has been inserted into the text (‘But entrusted Himself…). It can go either way. We can entrust ourselves to G-d, but it is probably more likely that Yeshua entrusted His enemies into G-d’s hand (But entrusted them….) – especially considering that the text is set within the context of judgement – our enemies are going to receive the righteous judgement of G-d.
v24: Bore our sins in His own body: Yeshua never lost track of His calling.His focus was not about what was being done to Him, while on the cross, but He was thinking about the necessity of removing our sins from us. One of the things that the enemy wants to do is turn us away from G-d’s will for our lives. He will use a multiplicity of schemes of deceit in order to get us out of G-d’s will. Yeshua left us the perfect example of what to do when satan tries to turn us away from the call that G-d has placed upon our lives. Yeshua has provided for us by removing ALL of our sins from us so that we no longer have to be fearful of G-d’s consuming, eternal judgment.
- Live for righteousness: Our sins have been removed from us so that our purpose becomes that of living righteously day after day.
- Healed: Ultimately this is speaking about our spiritual healing – we have been made acceptable in the sight of G-d.
v25: You: You (all) – written in the plural.
- Like sheep: G-d understands the frailties of men and women.
- Gone astray: This is a reference to our disobedient state in the past but is not the call placed upon us for our present and future. In the past we went in the wrong direction.
- But (there is a change) have NOW: Within the new covenant relationship we have entered into.
- Shepherd…of your souls: The Shepherd has one main purpose – to ensure the well-being of the sheep. John 10:14-16. Our spiritual well-being is Yeshua’s purpose, and He does this perfectly. He watches over our souls – the very essence of our being. Why? Because He still wants to bring honour to His Father. He will never leave or forsake us – He is perfectly and constantly watching over us. When we experience attack He is able to provide us with everything we need to overcome it. G-d knows everything about the future and He allows adversity for our sanctification – so that we can obey G-d’s will and in the end manifest His glory.
- Overseer: One who watches over, one who pays attention to.