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.
Have you ever had to pay the price for something that you did not do? Maybe as a child, one of your siblings committed an offense and got away with it. Somewhere down the line, however, it was discovered. But, instead of Dad and Mom punishing the actual perpetrator, they ended up thinking it was you who did it. I certainly remember that feeling of being wrongly accused (and wrongly punished!). It is not something that sits well with any of us, whether a childhood prank or, more seriously, an adult circumstance. Peter (above) tells us that Jesus Christ “suffered once” for sins. We—as sinners—have suffered many times on account of sin. Yet we earn that suffering. In addition, the suffering that we experience because of sin falls woefully short of the willing suffering that Jesus took on for our sake. In great contrast to us, Jesus did nothing to “merit” the suffering that he underwent. Moreover, Jesus intended from the very beginning to enter into suffering—culminating at the cross—so that you and I might be freed from the prison of sin. In other words, as Paul puts it so eloquently, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Did you hear that? Jesus willingly “became sin,” with all its consequences, so that you and I could be given the gift of righteousness. Wow . . . just wow. Today we celebrate the great God we serve—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
It is good for us to be here.