1 Peter 2:24-25 ~ 20090222 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
02/25 1 Peter 2:24-25 The purpose of His death
Today we come to 1 Peter 2:24-25. This is really Peter's inspired commentary on the Old Testament passage out of Isaiah, so I want to start by reading that passage in its entirety:
Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you–– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–– 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
1 Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; 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.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Peter is teaching us how to live in such a way that we proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light. That's why we were created. We exist to bring glory to our great God. One of the primary ways we glorify God with our lives is to show him to be great and worthy through our response to suffering, particularly unjust suffering. It is to this that we have been called. Peter holds out Jesus as our pattern - the one who suffered the ultimate injustice; the perfect, faultless Son of God, falsely accused, illegally arrested, declared not guilty and yet condemned to die, beaten viciously for no reason but to appease the angry mob, mocked, spit upon, shamed openly, nailed hands and feet to a wooden cross and publicly executed as the worst of criminals. And Peter says:
2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting [himself] to him who judges justly.
Then Peter goes on to explain what Jesus accomplished by his sacrifice. He is expanding his thought from verse 21 'Christ also suffered for you'
24 He Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree
This is one of the most beautiful declarations in the scriptures! Jesus himself bore our sins. This is the foundational truth of the good news. Isaiah 53:4-6 says 'surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.'
verse 8 says he was 'stricken for the transgression of my people'
verse 10 says 'when his soul makes an offering for guilt'
verse 11 says 'he shall bear their iniquities'
verse 12 says 'he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.'
We see these same truths expressed by the various New Testament authors in these words:
Romans 3:24-25 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. ...
1Corinthians 15:3 ...Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, ...
Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead ..., God made alive ..., having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, ...
1 Peter 3:18 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,
1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 3:5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Jesus is the sin bearing substitute. He took the penalty for our sins and satisfied the justice and wrath of God in our place.
Peter uses the word 'tree' to remind us of Deuteronomy 21-22-23 which is explicitly applied to Jesus in Galatians 3:13:
Deuteronomy 21:22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us––for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”––
Look back at verse 24. Jesus bore our sins for a purpose. He had a goal in mind. If we were writing the bible it might look different than it does. We might finish the sentence this way; 'he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might live with him in heaven some day' or 'Christ suffered for you, so that you might escape from pain and live healthy, wealthy and wise'. But that's not what God's word says. Look at what it does say:
2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
The purpose of him bearing my sins is my dying to sin. There is a parallel between v.21 and v.24; Christ suffered for you / He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that you might follow in his steps / that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. The purpose of Christ suffering for you, the purpose of bearing our sins is that we might follow in the steps of Jesus; following Jesus means dying to sin and living to righteousness. We would be more inclined to say 'Jesus died to give you eternal life'. That is true, but it is also true to say that 'Jesus died so that you would die to sin' and that is what Peter focuses our attention on here. He uses a unique word - not the usual word for dying; this word literally means 'to be done with, to put away, or to be removed from' (apogenomenov). This is the good news; Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might be done with sin. With his blood he purchased a place for us in heaven, yes. But with his blood he also sets us free from the domination of sin in our lives right now today! Because of the cross you and I can be done with sin. Jesus won the decisive battle with sin on the cross. Our sin was carried by him and once and for all dealt with. God's justice was satisfied and he will never punish us for what Jesus bore for us.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Every sin I have ever committed, am now committing, or will in the future commit was nailed to the cross and it is gone! Because of that truth, I can be done with sin. The power of sin in my life is broken. I am eternally free of the guilt of my sin. Does that mean I will never sin again? No, but when I do, I never have to wonder if that was the sin that will separate me from God forever. I can boldly turn to the cross and say 'thank you Jesus for bearing that sin for me. I see it nailed there on your broken body and I know that it was dealt with.' This does not set me free to turn my back on Christ and wallow in my sin. I know that sin is lethal. Peter said:
2:11 ...abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
If I turn my back on my crucified Lord and embrace sin, I demonstrate who my true master is. But with the weight of sin off my shoulders, no longer being crushed by its guilt, I can now fight the sin that 'wages war against my soul'. I can be done with sin in my heart and in my affections. I look at Jesus hanging on the tree and I see how hideous my sin is. My sin is no longer attractive. I see it for what it is. It is ugly and sinister and wicked and deceitful. It is an offense against the God who created me and loved me enough to send his own Son to be crushed in my place. Sin lies to me and says 'I can bring you pleasure'. There is no greater pleasure than fellowship with the God who loved me and gave himself for me. If I can be done with sin in my heart and in my affections, I will see that victory worked out in my actions. The only sin that we can have practical victory over is a forgiven sin.
Before we go on, we need to define sin. Just what do we mean when we use the word sin? Is it an arbitrary list of things that we are not supposed to do?
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sin is ultimately not giving God the glory that is due to him. In whatever form or expression it takes, sin is dishonoring God.
That's the negative half of the purpose of God in the suffering of Jesus – that we be done with sin. Now let's look at the positive half:
2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might ... live to righteousness.
What is righteousness? If Jesus took our sin for the purpose of our living to righteousness, then it is critical that we understand what it is we are to live for. Simply put, righteousness is the opposite of sin. If sin is dishonoring and defaming God, then righteousness is giving God the honor and glory and fame that he deserves. We see this most clearly in Romans 1. In verse 18, we are told that God's wrath is revealed against the unrighteousness of men (unrighteousness is another name for sin). In verse 20 he goes on to talk about God's invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature. In verse 21 unrighteousness or sin is described as 'they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him'. In verse 23 it says they 'exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images' and in verse 25 he says 'they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.'
If unrighteousness is not honoring God and not worshiping him and not giving him the glory that is due, then righteousness is doing what is ultimately right; honoring and glorifying and worshiping God. This fits exactly with what Peter has said about our ultimate purpose so far. He said:
1 Peter 2:9...that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
And we are to live our lives:
1 Peter 2:12 so that ... they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Now Peter is telling us that the basis for living to righteousness or glorifying God or proclaiming his excellencies is the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ. He carried the shame and dishonor and reproach that we placed on the name of God so that we could be set free to live lives that proclaim his excellencies.
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Literally it says 'by his wound you have been healed'. Now I believe that it is because of Jesus' death on the cross that every sickness and every disease and every sorrow is healed – either right now through the miraculous demonstration of God's power, or on that day when we see him face to face and he wipes away every tear from our eye and we are changed in a moment. But that is not what Peter is talking about here. It is a false and dangerous application of this verse to rip it from its context and tape it to your fridge and say 'because Jesus suffered for me I no longer have to put up with the common cold'. That is exactly the opposite of what Peter is saying in this passage. He is telling us that we are called to suffer and to be treated unjustly, and that our suffering is an opportunity to put the glory of God on display as we follow the pattern of Jesus and keep on entrusting to God who judges justly. To claim exemption from suffering in this life is not following in the steps of Jesus. What we are healed from is defined both before and after this statement. We are healed from a sick and sinful heart that seeks our own glory rather than the righteousness of honoring God. We are healed from a sinful tendency to stray away from our true caregiver. Our straying hearts were healed and we are returned to our Shepherd so that he will bind up our wounds.
25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus has two beautiful titles here. He is the shepherd of our souls. It does not say that he is the shepherd of our bodies. These bodies are temporary tents that are wearing out and will one day be changed. Jesus is caring for our souls – the eternal part of us. Paul said:
2Co 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.
Jesus is the shepherd of our souls. He is ensuring the safety and security of our souls. He is keeping us in the sheepfold. He is vigilantly watching out for unseen danger ready to act for our protection. He is leading us in green pastures and giving us what our souls need to thrive. He will faithfully come after us when we stray and bring us back home to himself.
And Jesus is the overseer of our souls. The word is (episkopov) bishop or overseer, and refers to one who has authority to watch over something or someone. Jesus is the guardian or superintendent of our souls. What a beautiful Savior we have. He not only bore our sins in his body on the tree, but he is our Overseer and he is our Shepherd. He has secured our forgiveness from sin so that we can live to his glory. He is vigilantly watching over our souls to provide for our needs, keep us on the right path, and protect us from danger. Indeed our God is mighty to save!
This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems follow the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace like a
river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should
buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the
bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And Lord, haste the
day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.