December 2020: Why He Came - 1 Peter 3:19
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
'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.'
I love this verse. The reason that I love it so much is because it is such a clear and concise explanation of the gospel! In a few short words, Peter perfectly summarises what Jesus came to do. As we come into the advent season and begin to prepare for Christmas, we are reminded of why Jesus came. The manger scene is familiar to many. Even those who are not Christians will know something about baby Jesus, shepherds and wise men. Many of us had to take part in a nativity at school. But most of those who know the story will not know why Jesus came. Some love to be reminded of the nativity story but don't care about what happened next. What was the purpose of his coming? What did he do when he grew up and why does it matter?
Well Peter tells us why Jesus came to Earth and he couldn't have put it more simply. Jesus came to Earth that he might, 'bring us to God.' Brilliantly simple! Jesus came to bring us to God. Why did this need to happen? Because we were far away from God. We were spearated from God becaouse of our sin and so we needed to be brought to God. The problem being that we can't do that ourselves. We can't bring ourselves to God because we are sinners and have no desire to do so. 'We all like sheep have gone astray.' So the good shepherd comes to find us and takes us back to the Father.
Jesus did this by being born as a man, he came in human flesh. Only he as God in human flesh perfectly obeyed The Father in our place. Peter calls him the 'righteous' one. Jesus is righteous and we are the 'unrighteous' ones. Jesus 'suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous.' He suffered and died on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. He was put to death, 'in the flesh', as one of us. That little baby boy would grow up and suffer and die for the sins of his people. He was then 'made alive in the Spirit.' Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin, death and the powers of darkness.
Why do all of this? Why go through all of this suffering? It's simple so that he might 'bring us to God.' If we turn away from him and trust in Jesus for our salvation. Not based on what we can do but on what he has done to save us. This the greatest joy for the Christian. That we get to spend eternity with God. That we get to be in his presence forever. May God give us great joy this Christmas, and all year, as we remember why Jesus came, to bring us to God.