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1 Peter 3:18: For Christ 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 Peter 3:18
[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, (ESV)

As we approach this verse we would do well to remember that the original recipients of Peter's words were facing tremendous physical persecution for their faith. Peter reminds them here that Christ himself suffered in his body. His body was perfect. The people reading Peter's words were still struggling with sin. While they had received the imputed righteousness of Christ, they still had a sin nature.

The one who had a perfect and holy nature was willing to suffer, even unto death, for those who were unrighteous, and therefore, undeserving. It is comforting to know that God does not call us to suffer unjustly, while himself not suffering unjustly. What God calls us to, God has already demonstrated his willingness to do, in an even grander and more sacrificial way. We have an understanding God.

The sacrifice of Christ was not without purpose. It was necessary, in order for him to bring us to God. Of particular significance to the Jewish believers who read Peter's letter, is the fact that Jesus died "once for sins." There would never be another sacrifice required. This was not so under the old system of the Law in the Old Testament. The blood of bulls and goats could not remove sin. Jesus' blood takes it all away.

There is one more thing we see in this verse. Jesus showed us the way to eternal life. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. That is the same pattern we can look forward to. Our body will ultimately succumb to death. But we will be made alive eternally in the spirit. Just as death could not conquer our Savior, it cannot conquer those who have been made anew in Jesus Christ.

Take a moment and reflect on any suffering you are going through. Your Savior can identify. He loves you. Even if you suffer to the point of death, he has already conquered that for you. Praise him today.