January 17, 2021 | 1 Peter 3:18-22
Dear Redeemer Friends,
We just re-watched the Lord of the Rings over Christmas break. I go into a slight depression when it is over because I become so connected to the characters and to their world and want to live and fight alongside them. Then when I read Scripture I realize I do live in that world. Just like men’s sin – their allure to the ring and its power and darkness and leads to their destruction – the same is true for us. Peter warns us below. And for those of us who recognize the reality of sin in us and our world, who have turned toward our Lord and rest in Jesus – suffering is part of our journey – just like it was for my Lord of the Rings friends – Frodo, Sam, Gimli, Aragorn, etc. And abandoning that journey would be far worse.
Peter warns us. Remember Noah? How God was patient, but eventually destroyed that which had turned away from him toward evil. He cannot allow evil to continue. We would not want a God that tolerated any more. Peter speaks of those who were “brought safely” through the destruction of the great waters and waves. As we acknowledge we are the unrighteous that Jesus suffered for, we are brought safely into God’s kingdom. Peter reminds us of the sad reality of those who refuse God’s patience and His son. He prompts us to remember what waits for those who ultimately abandon life with God.
Peter also encourages us. Just like my last scene in Lord of the Rings when I glimpse the true King reigning and peace abounding. Scripture gives us a picture as well of Jesus, “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” Jesus struggled and suffered in this life, “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous.” Peter is really wanting these new believers he is writing, and us today, to get the picture that if Jesus suffered we will too! If he who is perfect suffered, we who are not will most definitely suffer as we follow Him. BUT Peter also shows us what is to come. Yes, Jesus suffered, but now he reigns – he is at the right hand of God – all are subject to Him. Our suffering is temporal. A new Kingdom is coming. We get a glimpse like I do in watching the final scene of the movie – when all is restored and the true King reigns. There is laughter, peace, beauty, and hope.
Take a moment to take in the gravity of Peter’s warning. Sometimes our world is so sanitized we may not remember the evil and destruction that awaits those outside of Christ. Pause to thank the Lord for your own baptism. Take out pictures or your child’s baptism bowl and relish in the reality of this sign and what it represents – a deep saving and restoration of life and hope and peace. Enjoy this hope. Pray for those in your life who have yet to turn toward Him, and ask Him for opportunities to share this hope. Press on for God’s Kingdom is coming.
Let’s worship our King together in backyards, living rooms, on the church lawn or over youtube together this Sunday.
Director of Care and Connection
1 Peter 3:18-22 ESV
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.