Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle Peter. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses one through eleven of the fourth chapter. When you come to this particular portion or Scripture you will find the apostle peter once more writing concerning the suffering of Christ. It’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this concept of Christ’s suffering, for we cannot speak of our own suffering independent of and independent from the suffering of Christ. We cannot, we dare not, we must not make any attempt to speak of the suffering we experience within our daily lives without also speaking of the tremendous suffering which Jesus Christ Himself experiences while He was upon the earth. It’s important to note that Christ’s suffering in the flesh only took place at the tail end of His public ministry. If you study the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, you will find that his suffering took place in a single week towards the end of His three and a half years of public ministry and service within and upon the earth. It would be very easy to think about and consider the fact that Christ’s suffering wasn’t something that was continual and ongoing throughout the course of His life and ministry. It is true that Christ experienced a tremendous amount of opposition from the religious community of His day—I.e. the Pharisees, the scribes, the Sadducees, and the chief priests of that day. While this opposition was ongoing during much of His public ministry, it wasn’t until the final week of His public ministry that He truly experienced the suffering for which He has seen sent and appointed. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this lol important reality, for even Christ’s suffering was relegated to a single late night trial which would take place before Pontius Pilate, then before Herod, and then ultimately and finally before Pontius Pilate one final time. It would be during one single night Christ would suffer, and it would be a few hours He would actually hang there naked and bleeding upon the cross atop Calvary and Golgotha.
One of the most dangerous games we play with our suffering is isolating our suffering to ourselves, and ourselves alone, as if our suffering is somehow exclusive to us alone. This is absolutely incredible when you think about and consider it, for more often then not we fail to recognize and understand that our suffering is a direct result, and a direct byproduct of the suffering which Christ experienced. Our suffering has never and will never be an isolated incident, event and occurrence within our lives, and has never and will never take place in a vacuum. It would be incredibly wise for us to pay close attention to this reality, for to do so would completely and drastically transform the way we enter into, and the way we experience our suffering. I am utterly and completely convinced that our suffering begins to take on a whole new meaning when we begin to understand that our suffering is a byproduct—perhaps even an extension of the suffering which Christ experienced here on the earth upon the cross. We dare not miss or lose sight of the fact that Christ declared that in this world we will have many trials, but to not fear or be dismayed because He overcame the world. What’s more, is that Christ would go on to declare that if the world hated Him, they would also hate us too for His names sake. Oh that we would recognize and understand that our suffering and anything we experience here on the earth is a direct manifestation of the suffering which Christ Himself experienced. The apostle Paul wrote how we are the body of Christ which has remained upon the earth for more than two thousand years. If this is in fact true, and if Christ suffered in His physical flesh and in His physical body—what makes us think that as His body here on the earth we cannot and will not experience suffering as well. Wasn’t it Jesus Himself who declared that a Servant is not above His Master? If Jesus Christ suffered in the flesh, and if as our Master He did not and could not avoid suffering, then what makes us think we are somehow exempt and immune from suffering?
There are a number of ministers and Christian leaders who would seek to paint the picture that when we make the decision to follow Jesus Christ, we will somehow live our best life, and that suffering is only a result of sin within our lives. If suffering is in fact a byproduct of sin in our lives, and if Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then that would mean that Christ suffered because there was sin in His flesh. Why would Jesus suffer within and upon the earth unless there were found within Him some manner of sin? Do you understand how utterly absurd and ridiculous this sounds when you read it on these pages? What’s more, is I would challenge you to say and speak these words out loud. If you would dare make such a statement, go ahead and declare out loud that Jesus Christ suffered in the flesh because there was sin found in His life. Somewhere, somehow the Father found sin within His heart and life, and as a direct result of that sin, the Father sentenced Him to suffer. If this is truly the case, then why would the Father allow Him to suffer, to ultimately be killed, and to be raised from death to life? What’s more—why would the Father then permit Christ to ascend to His own right hand, and allow Him to be seated there? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Would it surprise and shock you to know that Christ’s suffering was preordained and preauthorized before He even came to this earth as a baby born of a virgin? Would it surprise you to learn and to know that Christ’s suffering was already ordained and appointed before He even left His place in eternal glory? If Christ suffered in the flesh because of sin, then how was it that His suffering was spoken of by the Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah? If you journey to the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, you will come to the fifty-third chapter of the book, where the prophet speaks of and prophecies concerning Christ’s suffering. What’s more, is that even after His resurrection—in those encounters Jesus had with His disciples and various individuals—He proclaimed and declared from Scripture how He must needs suffer. Consider if you will the words which the prophet Isaiah prophesied and declared in the prophetic book which bears His name, as well as Christ’s own words after He had been raised from death to life:
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to His own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and bare the sin of man, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).
Did you catch what was written within this particular portion of Scripture? No I am not writing and referring to the overwhelming amount of words and language that is found and contained within it concerning and regarding the suffering of Christ. What I am referring to is what we find in the ninth verse of this chapter: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; BECAUSE HE HAD DONE NO VIOLENCE, NEITHER WAS ANY DECEIT IN HIS MOUTH” (Isaiah 53:9). The words which we find in this ninth verse are absolutely incredible when you take the time to truly think about and consider them, for even in this Old Testament Messianic prophecy concerning the suffering of the Messiah, it was prophesied that there was no deceit in His mouth, nor did He do any violence. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to what is found and contained within this passage of Scripture, for even in the passage that is widely and largely used to present us with a scriptural basis for the suffering of Jesus Christ, we find the prophet declaring that there was no deceit found within His mouth, nor did/would he do any violence. It’s necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to this reality and concept, for it reveals the awesome and tremendous reality that Christ suffered, and His suffering was pre-ordained, and pre-authorized by the Father, and it was authorized, it was ordained, and it was appointed in spite of His innocence. The prophet Isaiah was prophesying according to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit moved upon Him and gave Him utterance, and therefore we must conclude that the words which the prophet spoke within this passage not only point to a suffering Messiah, but also a Messiah who would suffer despite His innocence. The Messiah would be pre-ordained and pre-authorized to suffer—this despite and regardless of the fact that He was utterly and completely innocent. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifth chapter of the second epistle he wrote unto the Corinthian congregation. If you begin reading with and from the seventeenth verse of the fifth chapter you will find the following words:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
The apostle Paul in this particular portion of Scripture emphatically writes and declares that God the Father caused Jesus Christ the eternal Son to be made sin for us—He who knew no sin—in order that we might be made the righteousness of God. It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this passage of Scripture, for the apostle Paul is not only promoting the reality and truth that Jesus Christ was made to be sin on our behalf, but the apostle Paul is also emphatically declaring that Jesus Christ knew no sin. That which the apostle Paul was writing in this passage of Scripture is that the Father took Him who knew no sin, and caused Him to be made sin for us, in order that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Please don’t miss the awesome significance and importance of these words, for the apostle Paul is further confirming the fact and reality that even though Jesus Christ suffered in the flesh, and even though Jesus Christ suffered in the form of flesh unto death upon the cross, He knew no sin. We would do well to recognize and understand that even though Jesus Christ suffered in the flesh while on the earth, and even though Jesus Christ suffered to the point of death, He was utterly and completely innocent while walking upon the earth. The apostle Paul would not have been permitted to write such words if it weren’t entirely true concerning Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. The apostle Paul reiterated that which the prophet Isaiah prophesied and declared in the prophetic book which bears his name, for the prophet Isaiah Himself declared concerning Christ the Messiah that there was no deceit found in His mouth, nor had, nor would He do and commit any violence. When we speak about the suffering of the Messiah in the flesh, we must acknowledge the fact that His suffering was completely and utterly independent of any form of sin found within His flesh. The suffering of Christ, which He experienced and faced while in the flesh would take place regardless of and despite the fact that He would maintain His innocence throughout the course of His life. What’s more, is that when John the Baptist declared—not once, but twice—“Behold, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, Jesus Christ could not be the Lamb of God if there was found any blemish, any sin, any fault within His flesh. It would be utterly and completely impossible for Christ to suffer in the flesh if there was found sin, deceit, guile, malice, offense, violence, and wrongdoing in His flesh. Only a spotless Lamb without blemish and without defect could be offered up in the flesh as the sacrifice for our sins and transgressions.
Concerning the suffering which Christ experienced and endured in the flesh, we must now turn and direct our attention to the twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew. If you begin reading with and from the forty-seventh verse of this chapter you will find the account of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples—Peter, James and John. Matthew records Jesus’ presence in the garden as being intruded upon by Judas who brought with him a great multitude with swords and staves from the chief priests and elders of the people. It’s important to note that what I am attempting to point out here is not the betrayal in the garden by Judas, but rather the words and responses of Jesus Christ in direct response to the actions of Peter there in the garden. Consider if you will the words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the forty-seventh verse of the twenty-sixth chapter:
“And while He yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with Him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now He that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold him fast. And forthwith He came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed Him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out His hand, and drew His sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? IN that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled” (Matthew 26:47-56).
You will note that not once, but twice during His betrayal in the garden Jesus spoke of and declared how what was taking place was the fulfillment of Scripture. When speaking of His suffering, and when speaking of the tremendous affliction and adversity He would experience on that night—and even on the next day when He would hang naked and bleeding on a cruel Roman tree—Jesus emphatically declared that His suffering was pre-ordained and pre-authorized by the Father in heaven. What’s more, is that the suffering which Christ would experience was prophesied by the ancient Hebrew prophets who continually prophesied of the suffering of the Messiah. There was absolutely no avoiding the suffering that was before Him, and at a certain point during His ministry, Jesus began speaking unto His disciples how He must enter into Jerusalem and be crucified at the hands of sinful men. Even before that fateful night in the garden Jesus spoke unto and declared to His disciples that Jerusalem was before Him, and that there in Jerusalem He would experience tremendous suffering, adversity, affliction and opposition. Jesus Christ knew and understood that He needed to suffer in the flesh, and ultimately die at the hands of sinful men. What’s more, is that when you read of Christ’s appearances after He was raised by the Spirit from death to life, you will find Him emphatically declaring unto those He encountered and spoke with how He must needs suffer and experience death at the hands of sinful men. Even more than this, Jesus Christ would reveal to those whom He would speak with and encounter how His suffering was a direct result of that which was prophesied by the ancient Hebrew prophets. I can’t help but be reminded of the encounter which Jesus Christ had on the road to Emmaus with two men whom He encountered along the way. The account begins with two men journeying from the city of Jerusalem unto the city of Jericho after the death of Jesus Christ. Perhaps they had felt their hope had vanished and disappeared because the One whom they followed—the One whom they hoped would bring restoration unto the kingdom of Israel—was crucified upon a cruel Roman tree. Undoubtedly these two men were leaving the city of Jerusalem completely dejected, completely discouraged, and almost without any form of hope whatsoever. Perhaps they felt that they had nothing else to live for or pursue since the one they followed during His earthly ministry was not only crucified upon the cross, but His body was also buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Consider if you will the words which are found and recorded in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament book written by the beloved physician Luke. Beginning with the thirteenth verse you will find and read the following words:
“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering saida unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that hey had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but Him they saw not. Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. But they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.l And He went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and How he was known of them in breaking of bread” (Luke 24:13-35).
When you read concerning the encounter these two men who were journeying from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus had with Jesus Christ, you will undoubtedly encounter the fact that when Jesus began speaking unto them, He began expounding unto them from Moses and the prophets how He must needs suffer, and how He must needs be crucified, be buried in the grave, and be raised again to life on the third day. When Jesus was speaking unto these two men—one of whom was named Cleopas—He expounded unto them beginning with Moses, and continuing on through the writings of the prophets how the Messiah needed to suffer, how the Messiah needed to be crucified and die, and how the Messiah needed to be buried and raised from death to life on the third day. IN other words, when speaking of His own suffering, Jesus used the writings of the prophets to bring them to the place of understanding concerning His suffering, and concerning His death, burial and resurrection. When speaking of His suffering—not only prior to the week of His passion, but also on the night in which He was betrayed, while He was suffering at the hands of sinful men, and even after He was raised from death to life—Jesus used the Scriptures to point out and reveal unto those whom He spoke with that He must needs suffer according to, and in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled in the earth. Jesus recognized, Jesus knew, and He understood that the suffering He faced and experienced was a direct result and fulfillment of the Scriptures—that which was prophesied and proclaimed by the ancient Hebrew prophets and writers of the Old Testament. In fact, there is another passage found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke where we find Jesus opening the understanding of the disciples in order that they might understand from the Scriptures that He must needs suffer. Beginning with the forty-fourth verse of the twenty-fourth and final chapter of this New Testament gospel we find the following words:
“And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24;44-49).
When you read the words which the apostle Peter wrote in the opening verses of the fourth chapter of this first epistle, you will find the apostle—for the fourth time—writing concerning the suffering of Jesus Christ. In fact, when we read the first epistle which the apostle Peter wrote, we must recognize and understand it as a treatise concerning the suffering of Christ in the flesh, but also of our own suffering in our flesh. I am utterly and completely convinced when reading this first epistle which was written by the apostle Peter that he not only set out to write concerning our own suffering, but also our suffering in light of, and as a direct manifestation of the suffering which Jesus Christ experienced. In fact, if you read the first four chapters of this epistle you will find multiple references concerning the suffering which we ourselves can and will experience in the flesh. What’s more, is that almost as frequently, and almost as much as the apostle Peter wrote concerning our suffering in the flesh, he would also write concerning the suffering of Christ. In fact, I would dare say that the suffering which we face, and the suffering which we experience in the flesh is intrinsically linked, and intrinsically connected to the suffering which Jesus Himself faced and experienced within the flesh. Consider if you will—first, the suffering which we as the saints of God and disciples of Jesus Christ experience, and secondly, the suffering which Jesus Christ Himself faced and experienced in the form of human flesh. Beginning in and with the first chapter of this epistle we find the following words concerning our suffering in the flesh, as well as Christ’s suffering in the flesh:
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you” (1 Peter 1:6-10).
“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (1 Peter 2:19-20).
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Peter 3:14-17).
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murder, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1 Peter 4:12-16).
These four passages bring us face to face with the suffering, the affliction, the adversity, the trails, the opposition, and the troubles and tribulations we can and shall experience in the flesh so long as we are on the earth. Jesus Christ never promised us a life of ease and comfort, and He never promised us a life without and apart from suffering. It is a direct result of deceived and naïve men and women who have bestowed upon us the false notion and false reality that when we come unto Christ we cannot, we shall not, and will not face, experience and endure any suffering, any trials, any adversity, and the like. I would emphatically proclaim and declare “Away with all those preachers and ministers who would seek to promote our best life now upon coming to Christ, and a life in Christ absent suffering, affliction, adversity, trials, tribulations and troubles.” We do ourselves a great disservice and dishonor when we believe the lie and the deception that we are somehow promised a life absent suffering, affliction, adversity, trials and troubles. I continue to be convinced that the suffering we face and the suffering we experience in the flesh is a direct manifestation of the suffering which Christ Himself experienced in the flesh. Just as surely as Christ must needs have suffered, been crucified, been buried in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, so also must we also suffer in the flesh. Oh that we would not be so naïve to think and believe that we are somehow greater than our Master who suffered in the form of human flesh. Oh that we would not be so naïve to think and believe that we are somehow promised and guaranteed a life absent suffering and affliction, for such a belief is not only false, but also misguided and deceitful. When you read the first epistle which the apostle Peter wrote, you must understand your own suffering as a direct extension and expression of the suffering of Jesus Christ, for just as Jesus Christ suffered in the flesh, so also must we suffer in the flesh. I am reminded of the apostle Paul, of whom it was revealed unto Ananias that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself would show and reveal unto Him just how much he would suffer for the sake of Christ. Oh that we would recognize and see our own suffering in light of the suffering of Christ, and that we would see our suffering through the lens of Christ’s suffering in His own flesh. Our suffering has never, and our suffering will never take place and occur in a vacuum, and it can never and will never be an isolated event or occurrence within our lives. We would like to believe that our suffering is exclusive to ourselves without realizing and recognizing that our suffering is not only experienced by those all around us, but our suffering was also experienced by Jesus Christ in the form of human flesh. Oh that we would understand our suffering in direct response to, and in light of the suffering of Christ—knowing full well that just as Christ suffered in the flesh, so also must we suffer; and, just as we face and endure suffering in our flesh, so also our brothers and sisters face and experience suffering in the flesh as well. I leave you with certain references concerning Christ’s suffering written by the same disciple who smote off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest in the garden:
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed Himself to him that judgeth righteousness: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are not returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Peter 2:21-25).
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:18-20).
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of His time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, reveling, banqueting, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit” (1 Peter 4:1-6).