If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:15-16 (NIV) Peter gives an important...
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” Luke 5:8
Jesus unveiled his glory by giving the disciples a miraculous catch of fish, and when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ feet and said these words. Peter was saying, in effect, “I don’t belong here with you! Find someone who is more holy than me. I’m not the kind of person you are looking for.”
Here was Peter, hiding from God. Isn’t that sad and tragic for a human being to be running away from love? But Jesus did not let Peter go. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. Peter landed the boat, and then he left everything and followed Jesus.
Years later, when Peter described why Jesus Christ came into the world, he said, “Christ… suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). Peter was saying, “He went to that cross so that people like us who love the wrong things and feel that we don’t belong anywhere near God should be brought back to him.”
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus prayed to the Father “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them” (John 17:26). What an amazing prayer! That the love with which the Father has loved the Son, the love that has always flowed in the heart of God, should be in us!
The great purpose for which Jesus suffered was to bring us into the shared delight of the Father and the Son, and be caught up in the circle of their love. That is why, at the end of the Bible, you have the marriage supper of the Lambs—the shared joy of the Father, and of his Son, and of his bride. The great storyline of the Bible is the story of love.
Do you see the great reason why Jesus came into the world and went to the cross?