The Christian Message is About A DEATH - 1 Peter 3:18
July 11, 2023, 8:32 AM

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”

Peter points to the work of Jesus beginning with His suffering. We are reminded that all these are a part of His bearing our sin: Falsely charged.....arrested…tried…mocked…scourged…. humiliated. The carrying of the cross, nailing of his hands and feet. The hatred, lies, hypocrisy, man-made religion, abuse, rejection, mockery are all part of the human heart against God.

But most significant was the shedding His blood resulting in His death. He died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust. He paid our penalty and removes our sin. The way the Bible explains death humanly is when man's spirit leaves the body. The resurrection has no meaning apart from death. Jesus died once for all.

Baptism symbolizes not only the death of Jesus, but about our own death too. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 tells us that price for our sin is death. Death is the physical and spiritual curse that affects each and every person. We are all spiritually dead to God. Our sin has to be removed for us to be alive to God. Jesus paid the price for our offense and character. He was innocent, but He died for all of us, because we are not innocent.

Did you notice that, “once for all” in our verse of the day? Christ is not and cannot be crucified again according to the Bible. That's also why the temple veil was torn in two and the priests need not offer sacrifices any longer for the perfect sacrifice was paid. He completed the job and there is no more suffering that can be added by other people to complete salvation's requirements.

When A.J. Gordon was a pastor of a church in Boston, he met a young boy in front of the church carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered. He discovered that the boy had trapped them out in the field and was going to play with them and feed them to his cat. Gordon offered to buy them,

"Mister, you don't want them" he told him. "They're just little old wild birds and can't sing very well."

"I'll give you $2 for the cage and the birds." "Okay, it’s a deal, but you're making a mistake."

Gordon walked around the back of the church property opened the door and let the birds soar into the air. The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ coming to seek and save the lost - paying for them with His own precious blood. "..when I released them, they winged their way heavenward and it seemed to me they were singing, "Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed."

Thought for today:  You and I have been held prisoners by sin. We have been dead, but Christ death purchased our pardon and set us free!

Prayer: Thank you, thank you Jesus for removing my sin and making alive to God!