In the last few months I have been spending extensive time in a very deep and detailed study of 1 Peter, and in that study I have reached the passage on 1 Peter 2:21-24 where Christ leaves us an example of suffering. From this passage I wanted to take an “aside” from the study of the epistle to explore this concept: A prominent fact of our redemption is the profound idea that our Savior, the sinless Son of God, suffered. How is it possible that God suffered? How can it be that God would take on human flesh so that and for the express purpose that He would suffer and die? From this it becomes evident that suffering is a necessary consequence of all humans after the Fall, such that even the One who had no sin is subject to the effect of the Fall. To have human flesh is to experience the suffering of the flesh. He who has flesh will suffer, because that is the necessary result of the Fall. Thus Christ fully and knowingly accepted the suffering that came with living in a fallen world among fallen people, the suffering that was the result of man’s sin, when He took on the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3).
But not only did He suffer as all who have a fleshly body suffer, but He suffered more than any other human. What do I mean? I have this in mind, that while you and I suffer in the flesh because we are sinners and receive this suffering as a consequence of our own sin, He bears His suffering because of the sins of others. We suffer justly, but He willingly endured a lifetime of “unjust” suffering (1 Peter 2:19 – “when suffering unjustly”). He willingly endured suffering His entire lifetime, but His suffering was of an entirely different nature than ours. Since He was God in human flesh, His suffering was likewise entirely “other.” He suffered in a way that is incomprehensible for us, for He, the sinless One, suffered because of constant exposure to the horror of sin and to the ugliness of sinners. In His untainted and unstained holiness, He endured a lifetime among those who are unholy. This was His daily and constant suffering. This was one way that the Messiah suffered.
But there was a much more intense form of suffering that our Messiah also endured, and that will be the subject of the next blog. SDG rmb June 25, 2016