Sunday, October 24, 2010

Example, Education, or Expire?

Today in Sunday School we studied I Peter 2:21-25. The teacher enacted a graphic portrayal of "getting in someone's face" in order to get them to revile. First he had to find out if anybody knew what the word "revile" meant since we don't use it too much anymore. Here's a thesaurus synonym I like - to attack with words.

Peter, an eyewitness to the trials of Jesus, said Jesus never reviled anyone. Even though our teacher only made an example, I could see in his eyes (and he confessed along with yours truly and others in the class) that he has reviled folks many times when they got in his face. But Jesus never did.

What are we supposed to do with that information? The KJV states that Jesus' actions are an example for us. What exactly does that mean - example? First a little background:

God says that in a very real way we were crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live (Galatians 2:20). What is the extent of that crucifixion? Does it include the events leading up to it? We know for sure it includes the cross and the resurrection. But what about when the Pharisees, the Sadducess, Romans, and others got in His face? They spit on Him, slapped Him, punched Him, ripped His beard, mocked Him, scourged Him, stripped Him naked. He did nothing just like a lamb led before its shearers.

Is this merely an example for us? Or perhaps it is just for our education.

I think it was written to us for our expiration. Only a man dead to himself can do this. Only a man full of the Spirit cannot revile. Only a man completely at one with God is capable. Jesus did not behave this way because He learned it by example or because someone taught it to Him in Hebrew school. Neither will be even come close to such godly behavior by mere example or education. Quite frankly I am no more motivated, willing, or able to withhold attacking someone with my words simply because of this lesson.

So it is with any Bible truth. We can't keep 617 laws. We can't obey even ten commandments. Even two commandments are too much. But with Jesus all things are possible. As we abide with Him as one with God, He obeys perfectly through us. Thereby we keep the whole law, obey all the commandments, and love God with our whole hearts.

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