1 Peter 2:18-25, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. v19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
v20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. v21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
v22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. v23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
v24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. v25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.“
John Stott comments that Christianity is a rescue religion. It declares that God has taken the initiative in Jesus Christ to rescue us from our sins. So that is to say that Christianity is not a religion of self-reformation or self-salvation.
Instead, Christianity is religion centered on what Jesus has done to rescue His
people from sin and death. How? The cross stands at the center of this rescue story, because the crucifixion of Jesus is the centerpiece of our salvation.
Where the Old Testament saints looked ahead in hope, believing that one day God would provide a final sacrifice for sin. The New Testament describes the cross from two critical perspectives:
- Christ died as our example – this is clear from 1 Peter 2:18-25. His death shows us how to live and suffer in difficult situations.
- Christ died as our “sinbearer” This is clear from 1 Peter 2:24, which says that Jesus bore our sin in His body on the cross.
So Peter’s claim about Christ as our sinbearer fulfills the hope of Isaiah 53; Jesus is the Suffering Servant who came to die for His people by giving His life as a sacrifice for our sins.