The day of salvation
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water. 1 Peter 3:18-20 CSB
From the text, Peter reminds the believers of Christ and His suffering to encourage them. Christ has to go through sufferings so He could provide us salvation. In verse 18, we see one of the most concise summaries of the purpose of Christ's death on the cross. He "suffered for sins once for all." During the Old Testament times, sacrifices had to be made constantly as atonement for sin, yet, when Christ died on the cross, He paid the perfect sin offering, for He was sinless, paying the penalty of sin for all mankind. "The righteous for the unrighteous," emphasizes that Christ was without guilt, "righteous" dying for us, the guilty "unrighteous." And why would a perfect being go through one of the most painful forms of execution in all of human history? "That He might bring you to God." Jesus, through His physical death on the cross, was able to bridge the great divide between us and God the Father. By Jesus dying for our sin, Jesus is able to make us acceptable in God's sight, by taking upon Himself the wrath of God that we so deserve. Once someone believes in Jesus as their Savior, they are washed clean of their sin and made presentable to God through Jesus Christ. "He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit." Not only through Jesus' death are we saved, but also through His resurrection, showing that He has power over death and can provide us life eternal. When we get to verses 19 and 20, Peter uses two stories to illustrate Jesus' guarantee of salvation. In verse 19, in between the time Jesus died and was resurrected, Jesus proclaimed to "the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient." Jesus spoke to the fallen angels and evil spirits in their imprisonment and declared His victory over death and of the final judgment when they are cast into the lake of fire forever. This whole interaction is evidence of Jesus' supreme power over the final judgment, which guarantees His promise of salvation to those that believe in Him. The second illustration is of Noah, who was ridiculed constantly by the majority as Noah faithfully built the ark with his family in obedience and trust in the Lord's plan of salvation. In the end, Noah's entire family was spared from the judgment. The Lord keeps His word. For believers, this is an encouragement and reminder of Christ's gift of salvation through His sacrifice. For non-believers, this is a message of hope that there is still time to accept Jesus' gift of love poured out for you. Don't wait, thinking that there may be more time, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring as James 4:13-14:
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
I'll close with a familiar passage, John 3:16-17:
16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Isaac De Guzman