Daily Devotion | Day 354
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’” (1 Peter 2:21-22, NKJV).
Today’s presentation will pick up the point we were making yesterday, that two things happen at the Cross: the reception of forgiveness and the cessation of sin. We noted that when Christians speak of grace or the Cross, they tend to focus almost exclusively on the forgiveness of sins and neglect the part about cessation of sin in the believer’s conduct. We had much to say but we did not talk about the opening Bible passage. Thankfully, another day is here, so let us go into the text and find out what the Lord is saying to us.
Peter was addressing the conduct of slaves with respect to their masters. He encouraged them to persevere in doing good even when they suffer, looking to Christ as their example. We know that Jesus is an example for all Christians, so what Peter said to slaves applies to all believers. This is part of what Peter said, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Peter is talking about the Christ who suffered and died for us. Christ endured all manner of suffering and temptation even till His last breath on the Cross. According to Peter, Jesus did this to leave us an example, that we should follow His steps. Which steps?
In the next two verses (22-23), Peter names the specific steps Jesus left for us to follow. The first step Peter talks about is this: “Who [Jesus] committed no sin” (v. 22). Note carefully what Peter is saying. Jesus took the steps of not committing sin. And He wants believers to do likewise. Jesus, therefore, expects Christians to follow His steps and no other steps. The steps He wants us to follow are the steps of not committing sin. It means enduring temptation and suffering to the very end (without sinning) just like Jesus did. Jesus came in the flesh, among other things, to show us that it is possible to live in this world as a normal human being, face diverse trials and still not commit sin. If we could dramatize this, Jesus’ conversation with a believer might sound like this:
“Dear [NAME]. The devil is a liar. He wants you to believe you can’t live sin free. I know what it means to be tempted. From My infancy I faced every possible trial, but I didn’t sin. I wanted to show you that you can do what I did. Don’t listen to those who say you can’t. Just listen to Me and you’ll be fine. Do you see My footprints? Good. From this point on you’re not going to sin again. Do you believe Me? Good. Here’s what I want you to do. Put your foot wherever you see My footprint. Nice. You’re doing well.”
“Keep going. I’m with you all the way, so even when you don’t see Me, don’t think I’ve left you. No, not here; there. There you go. Do you see the trail that is coming up? Good. I want you to follow that path; it is the path of righteousness. You’ll hear voices telling you to turn left. Don’t listen. Just step where you see My footprint. Now this part is going to hurt, but don’t worry; My grace is sufficient for you. You’re doing great so far. We’re close to the finish line. Keep your eyes on Me. Everyone in heaven is cheering for you. A few more steps to go. One step . . . and the last step. Awesome! See, I told you, you could do it. Welcome home, faithful servant. The Father can’t wait to greet you.”
To be continued tomorrow, God willing. Until then, keep running the race of faith. Don’t quit. Amen.
For further study: Hebrews 4:1-16; 12:1-13