Following Christ's example
For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:21-23 CSB
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been covering this book written by Peter, talking about suffering and how we are to respond during those times. Naturally, in any believer’s life, a question that would come up then is, “Why do we even have to suffer?” Simply put, we were “called to this,” meaning God has us in this situation for a reason, a purpose and plan that only He knows. We are called to trust in His leading, as Christ had done on the cross. Christ “also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). We are called to follow Christ in how He endured the trials and suffering. We see that “He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth” (v. 22). This passage is in direct reference to Isaiah 53:4-12, prophecy written by Isaiah hundreds of years earlier predicting the Messiah’s suffering and death. Yet, Christ endured the sham trials and scourging by the Sanhedrin and high priest, never speaking ill will towards them. Instead, He followed the Father’s will never sinning nor complaining. As human beings, when we are attacked verbally, our initial instinct is to respond verbally, sometimes hurling insults back or threats. Yet, “when He was insulted, He did not insult in return.” Christ did not take a path of revenge, instead, He died for His enemies for He loved them and wanted them to have the opportunity to be saved. Also, He “entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly,” God the Father. Hillyer commented, “Believers are not left to face suffering solely in their own strength, which might well prove inadequate. In the same confidence that Jesus had, they are to hand over their whole situation to God, for God, as all-knowing and all-seeing, judges justly. He alone can be relied upon to view all the evidence and to understand all the motives which lie behind every human action—and in the final analysis to dispense perfect justice.” As Christ enduring the suffering of this life for a purpose designed by the Father, so too we, as believers, are called to follow in Christ’s example and endure for the Father’s purpose and plan, trusting in Him that He is working it all for good (Romans 8:28).
Isaac De Guzman