Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble… For whoever would love life… must keep his tongue from evil... He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:8-11 (NIV) Whoever...
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree. 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
This is one of the most profound and wonderful statements in the whole of the Bible. It goes to the very heart of the Christian faith.
When Jesus died on the cross, our sins were laid on him: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6).
There is an obvious uniqueness about the act of Jesus carrying our sins. Only Christ can bear the sins of the world. It was a once-for-all event. But don’t forget, Peter’s emphasis here is on how Christ’s death is an example to us and a pattern for us.
If you choose not to retaliate, you will absorb pain or insult or injury. It may be at the most basic level. Somebody said something unkind, and you had the best comeback line in the world, but it would have hurt him or her, so you held it back and said nothing instead.
What is the result? On the surface, nothing. But hidden from plain view, you absorb the pain of the insult. You bear it and, in that simple choice, you reflect the example of Jesus. The pain ended with you. You did not pass it on.
Where could you use your freedom to absorb some pain or insult or injury?