“Christ hath Once Suffered for Sins . . .”
(I Pet. 3:18)
By Michael Zaucha
From the high and lofty perspective for the reason that God created the race of man, Jesus declared of this purpose of God: “that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father” (Jn. 5:23). The due esteem, reverence and praise that is due to God our Father and His Son Jesus is not perfunctory but rather it comes from the understanding given us by God of our Lord Jesus Christ’s very person and the glorious and everlasting works which Jesus has accomplished for us.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is that which reveals these glorious accomplishments that God did through His Beloved Son (Acts 2:22). The Apostle Peter was one who declared this good news to men: “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18).
Let these sayings sink down into your ears of The One that suffered: Christ hath once suffered; The Son of God hath once suffered; God’s beloved Son hath once suffered; the One in whom God delights hath once suffered; the One in whom God is well pleased once suffered; the One who was in the beginning with God, and was God hath once suffered. This is the One that suffered according to the will of God.
Christ’s sufferings were according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23), in perfect accord with the eternal purpose which God hath purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph. 3:11).
Christ hath Once Suffered for Sins. For sins Christ hath once suffered. Christ sufferings were for the divine purpose of the full covering of sins, which He Himself is. Jesus Himself is “the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the world” (I Jn. 2:2).
Christ hath once suffered for sins in order for the full taking away and removal of our sins from us. And the gospel announces that this is precisely what Jesus accomplished through His sufferings and death. As it is written, “as far as the east is from the west, so far hath He (Jesus) removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
Christ hath once suffered for sins in order that they be put away from the sight of the Holy, Holy, Holy God, and again, the gospel proclaims the good news of this being accomplished by the sufferings of Christ: “but now once in the end of the world, hath He (Jesus) appeared to put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26).
The Just for the unjust. The sins that Christ Jesus suffered for were not His sins, but ours – for the sins of the world did Christ suffer, for the sins of the unjust, did Christ Jesus suffer, the just man (Mt. 27:19), The Holy and The Just (Acts 3:14), That Just One (Acts 22:14) suffered for the sins of the unjust.
Christ died for our sins (I Cor. 15:3); Jesus gave Himself for our sins (Gal. 1:4); by Himself, Jesus purged our sins (Heb. 1:3); Jesus was manifested to take away our sins (I Jn. 3:5). And oh, how the gospel will declare the glorious intended of God benefits that come forth from the sufferings of Christ to those who have received the forgiveness of sins, to believing men who continue to abide in Christ.
That He Might Bring us to God. Hear the divine purpose of God for the sufferings of Christ – they were intended by God to bring us to God, to Himself, and not only for a one time stay, but to keep us in His presence, where there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures for ever more” (Ps. 16:11). Being brought to God has everlasting implications being the result of the sufferings of Christ for our sins, “that we might dwell in the courts of the Lord” (Ps. 65: 4); that “we might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives” (Ps. 27:4), and that “we might be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house” (Ps. 65:4).
Conclusion. Jesus alone is revealed and declared as God’s only appointed means of men being brought to God, Jesus Himself making this known: “no man cometh to the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6). And Jesus did so by Him suffering once for our sins, the Just for the unjust. Let us continue to honor the Son for who he is and what He has accomplished for us.