“Leaving Us an Example” – 1 Peter 2:21-25
Updated: Jun 2
Introduction: This passage is very familiar to us – it is one of the clearest explanations in the Bible for us to describe what Jesus did on the cross in paying for our sins. In relation to the context of 1 Peter it is showing that Jesus gave us an example to follow in relation to “enduring hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Although we will not be able to do what Jesus did in ransoming man’s soul, Peter clearly states that Jesus left “us an example, that we should follow his steps.” That’s not saying we are to follow “IN” His steps – we can’t do that. It is saying, though, that we are to follow His leading as it relates to our life.
I. His example in suffering – vs. 21, 23
A. “Suffered for us” – Jesus was the example for us – all believers, not just the full-time Christian worker are to give themselves for others
Joh 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
B. Vs. 23 gives us the example in the suffering of Christ that if we suffer wrong for the sake of our testimony and for the sake of Christ we are to take it without fighting back
Mar 14:60-61 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
Mar 15:29-31 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
II. His example in sinlessness – vs. 22
A. Of course, we can not be sinless – but that is the goal we are to aim for
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Php 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1Pe 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
B. He didn’t say anything to cause harm when He spoke under the circumstances of suffering – the example here is that we are to keep our mouths under control in times of suffering for the Lord.
III. His example in sacrifice – vs. 24
A. He bore our sins on the cross – “in his own body” – that is, He did it Himself – there was no one to do it for Him
Isa 53:4-6 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Mat 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Heb 9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
B. The reason is that we “should live unto righteousness” – the purpose of Christ’s suffering was to provide a ransom for us with the purpose of living for Him and bringing others to Christ
Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Conclusion: Verse 25 is a fitting conclusion. In relation to the Jews (the recipients of this letter) they, through the work of Christ on the cross, have been able to return to their Shepherd and Bishop. They were His, lost that, and then are now able to return. That is true of all of us – the work of Christ on the cross was redemptive – it paid the ransom for our souls.