1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
When we consider our own suffering, we need to look to Jesus who suffered more than us all and deserved none of it. He left us a perfect example. He did no sin but suffered for ours. As a lamb is silent before the shearers He was silent before His accusers. The great why of His suffering was for our redemption. The great and overarching why of our suffering is to be like our Jesus and draw people towards Him by their observation to our reactions.
We are to follow in the steps of Jesus. What does this mean? I remember as a child growing up in NJ sometimes it would snow. And Dad would go out to clean the cars off and shovel the driveway. I wanted to be like Dad so I would go outside and try to follow in his steps. But Dad being over six feet tall and me being a kid, it would take me two or three steps to reach each of Dad’s footprints in the snow. I would follow his path, walk in the same direction, but could not match him step for step.
In the same way I am not God. I remember preparing for my first funeral and I figured I would study what Jesus did and mimic Him. To my surprise each time He attended a funeral it turned into a celebration as the dead were brought back to life! I gave a eulogy and a gospel message. I can follow the path of Jesus but I would not be able to do everything just as He did. He is God, I am a son of God. So if Jesus is our example (and He is) what are we to do?
- He had no guile: G1388 dol’-os Meaning to decoy; compare G1185); a trick (bait), that is, (figuratively) wile: – craft, deceit, guile, subtly.#) There was no deceit, hypocrisy, or insincerity. He was in all respects what he professed to be, and he imposed on no one by any false and unfounded claim.
- He did not revile when reviled. He was reviled. He was accused of being a seditious man; spoken of as a deceiver; charged with being in league with Beelzebub, the “prince of the devils” and condemned as a blasphemer against God. We remember His last words about those who condemned Him: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
- He did not threaten while suffering. That is, when he suffered injustice from others, in his trial and in his death, he did not threaten punishment. He did not call down the wrath of heaven. He did not even predict that they would be punished; he expressed no wish that they should be.
These are but a few examples of how we should follow Jesus. While most of our study is on the what’s of suffering, I pray today’s glimpse into the why of our sufferings brings us encouragement for the days ahead.