Imitators of Christ (I Peter 2:21-25)
I Peter 2:21-25, For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 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. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
A minister filling in for a teacher of a Sunday school class asked, "What do you think Jesus was like?" Doubtless the pastor expected an answer like: He was a good man; He was a poet; He was a carpenter; He was like God. But no. One little boy raised his hand and replied, "I think Jesus was like my Sunday School teacher." Think back to the time when you were a kid. Back when you had a childhood hero and you followed their every move. You wanted to be like them when you grew up. When it come to being an example, there is no greater example than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ did no sin. He lived His life free of sin. Humanity had never witnessed prior to Christ, nor since anyone who lived life in its entirety free of sin. He never once had to seek forgiveness because He had missed the mark. He lived the life that God demanded that we never could. When Adam fell in sin, that fellowship was broken and the curse of sin was passed on to every succeeding generation. Sadly, each of us were born under the curse of sin and separated from God because of it. God is holy and righteous and He cannot condone or approve of sin. His holiness demands that sin be atoned and reconciliation be made.
At salvation we were born into the family of God. We have been given the name of Christ and are charged to bear it among men. Jesus never once knew what it was like to wander from the ways of God or violate His holy ordinances. Peter, reveals that all believers have an obligation to follow after the Lord and live as it pleases Him. The name Christian literally means "a follower of Christ." Christ has left the example that we are to copy. We are to strive to live our lives just as He lived His. People are to change, not Christ (Hebrews 13:8). It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.
We have been called to live a life that honors the Lord in all that we do, even if that involves enduring suffering for His sake. We are to mimic and imitate every detail. Now I know that we will never achieve that level of perfection, living above sin and in perfect communion with the Father, but we are charged to strive for that. As Christians, we ought to live and look more like Jesus today than we did when we were babes in the faith! As believers, we are to mature as we grow in the faith. Our overall purpose is to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ by obeying His command to make disciples of all nations.
The Prince of Wales was invited to visit 36 men that had been severely wounded in World War I. These men were in a hospital on the outskirts of London. He graciously accepted the invitation, and upon his arrival, he was ushered into the main ward. He shook hands with some, and spoke encouraging words to many of the men. Then he looked around and said, "I thought there were 36 men. I have seen only 30." It was explained to the prince that the other six were so severely injured, they were put into a special ward that was not usually visited. The prince said, "I must see them, too." He was taken to these men who were in terrible shape. He counted, however, only five men, and asked, "Where is the other man." The prince was told that the poor man was so badly mutilated that he was kept in a room alone and that it would be wiser not to see him. The prince insisted, "I must see him, too." Taken into a little room, the Prince of Wales saw an unforgettable sight. There lay what remained of a brave soldier. He was blind, deaf, legless, armless, and disfigured beyond recognition as a man. Standing silent for a moment, deeply touched, the prince stooped down and kissed the soldier on the brow. With a broken voice he whispered, "Wounded for me!" The soldier did die for his country in the cause of freedom. This is exactly what Christ did for us. He was wounded for me and for you that you should be free from the bondage and penalty of sin.
PRAYER: Lord, You have given us the example to follow, help me to walk in Your way. I know that the closer and longer I identify with You I will face ridicule and encounter sufferings. Help me and strengthen me that I may reflect You in my life. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.