“A man…had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later changed his mind and went. Then, the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he...
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
Jesus created room for reconciliation. He made it possible for us to turn around. The reason that He bore our sins in His body on the tree was so that change would happen in us.
When Jesus stood in a situation of appalling injustice, He did not ask, “How can I get even?” Instead, He asked, “How can I act redemptively?”
What course of action will lead highly resistant people to die to their sins and begin to live for righteousness? What action will bring healing in this appalling darkness? What course of action will make it possible for those who have gone astray to return to the shepherd of their souls?
The answer: Someone needed to carry their sins. And that is why Jesus chose this course of action. That is why He entrusted His case to the Father. That is why He did not retaliate and why He made no threats. He chose to act redemptively. He created room for reconciliation. Our healing came through His wounds.
“Now,” Peter says, “all of this is an example to us.” How did Jesus use His freedom? “Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you may follow in his footsteps” (2:21). The suffering of Jesus was a sacrifice for us; it was also an example to us.
Where can you use your freedom redemptively?