Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. -I Peter 2:22-24 (KJV)
I need to offer my apologies to author John Grisham for borrowing a title from one of his books for the title for today’s blog. I have read just about all Mr. Grisham’s books except this particular one, and I am sure I will get around to it eventually. Last Sunday in my Easter sermon I referred to the fact that an innocent man was tried, sentenced, beaten, and executed and it all happened so our sins would be paid for. Jesus Christ, an innocent man, bore upon himself the sins of the world. Through faith in Christ we claim this sacrifice for sin which took place on our behalf. We are granted forgiveness, eternal life, and power for daily living. We offer all praise to the Lord who so graciously gave Himself for us. The tomb was then found empty on the third day. Christ has risen indeed!
Jesus set an example we can follow in all areas of life. His was a sacrificial and humble attitude at all times. Peter reminds us in God’s Word how our attitudes are to reflect those of our Lord. Jesus was insulted, mocked, and falsely accused, yet He did not retaliate. What is our typical response when suffering these types of abuses? We desire to strike back, get even, and seek revenge. However, Jesus taught we are to instead seek the godly response of prayer, humility, forgiveness and grace. The world will not know how to react when confronted with such Christ-like character. This is why the Scripture reminds us how a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, and repaying evil with good will cause those without Christ to scratch their heads in puzzled bewilderment, for they are not used to the godly way of handling conflict.
People might think we are cowardly and ineffectual; yet following the ways of Christ builds strength, character, and personal integrity which the world will never understand. Walking daily in the power of the Holy Spirit is a prescription for peace in the face of life’s most difficult storms. Many believers, however, miss out on the peace which could be theirs in Christ. We become so busy with other activities we often neglect this most vital discipline of prayer and meditation on God’s Word.
God will empower you to make today the day in which you take back control of your life, outlook, and daily routine. Seek the Lord today, every day, and remember the innocent man, Jesus Christ, who died in our place.