First Sunday in Lent – February 18, 2018
18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.
1 Peter 3:18-22 | New Living Translation (NLT)
This week is the First Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time when we focus on Jesus’ sacrifice. In this passage, Peter (one of Jesus’ disciples) writes, “Christ suffered for our sins one for all time.” I know that my finite mind can’t wrap itself around that thought. Christ paid the sacrifice for every person for all time. Peter picks up the theme of Paul, one that we looked at on Ash Wednesday. Christ died to reconcile people (us) back to God. Jesus was the perfect, sinless sacrifice and it is his death that brings us life. Peter also reminds us that Jesus was also raised back to life, so that we may have new life. It seems some want to focus on the cross, but it is the cross working together with the resurrection that brings us new life. They work together to bring us salvation.
Wednesday evening we gathered to remember our mortality. We said the words, “You are dust and to dust you will return.” In addition, we said, “Repent from your sins and be faithful to the Gospel.
The Gospel is that Jesus came, that humbled himself to the point of death on the cross to pay the price for our sins. The Spirit raised him to life and now we have new life because of the resurrection. Christ now reigns and will someday come for his church.
So let us remember today that Christ has suffered – Christ has died for us. He died for everyone living and dead so that we may be reconciled to God.