In Psalm 69 we see in detail the Lord’s suffering before His death and in His death. But how does this relate to us? In 1 Pet. 2:21 we see that “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered on your behalf, leaving you a model so that you may follow in His steps“. Before this verse Peter tells us about grace – the divine life for our enjoyment, the Triune God who is now the all-inclusive Spirit who gives life to us for our experience and enjoyment. Based on this, Peter continues to say, For to this you were called….
Called to enjoy grace and express God
This is what we are called for, as believers in Christ – to enjoy grace and express God! Particularly and especially in sufferings, we were called to have the enjoyment of God and to express Him. We can enjoy God as grace not only in good times or pleasant situations, but even in unpleasant circumstances – whatever circumstances by be, God is our inner enjoyment, motivating us within and becoming our expression without. When we enjoy Christ as grace even in our sufferings, we will express Him outwardly.
Christ is our model – the under-writing for us to copy
Christ left us a model so that we may follow in His steps – He suffered unjustly, He suffered on our behalf, and He suffered for the unrighteous. Now He set His life of suffering before us as a model for us to follow. The word for “model” literally means a writing copy, an under-writing for the students who trace letters when they learn how to write. Christ set His suffering life before us as the under-writing for us to copy by tracing and following His steps.
Not imitating Christ but being His reproduction
Many believers try their best to imitate Christ in His living on earth, and even many unbelievers try to do this also. Everyone will get to the same conclusion sooner or later – we CANNOT imitate Christ outwardly: imitating Christ does not work. We don’t need to imitate Christ – we need to be His reproduction. It is the divine life in Christ that could do the things He did and be expressed in such a way – this life is in us now, reproducing the life and living of Christ in us! Christ is not a model for us to follow outwardly – He’s “the original” and we are the “Xerox copy” of Christ!
For us to become Christ’s “Xerox copy” we need spiritual light and the riches of the divine life – we become not an imitation of Christ but a reproduction of Christ! A monkey can imitate the things and actions a man does, but because the monkey does not have the human life, after the “imitation time” is over, he returns back to his monkey life. But to us Christ is the original copy, the model and the pattern, and we are the Xerox-copy of Christ by our enjoyment of Him and following in His steps!
Christ kept committing all things to God
One of the things that the Lord Jesus did is He did not respond in kind to His persecutors or opposers. Rather, “… being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23). Yes, He was reviled, but He did not revile in return. Yes, the Lord Jesus suffered, but He did not threaten those who inflicted suffering on Him. In all things, the Lord Jesus kept committing the insults, the suffering, the ill-treating, the injuries, etc – to God, the One who judges righteously.
Recognizing God’s government
The Lord Jesus recognized God’s government and respected His arrangement in His life – He never did something to change His environment and He never responded in kind to those who ill-treated Him or insulted Him. He referred and kept committing all things to God, the righteous One, the One who can judge all things. What a pattern we have before us – Christ as the One who did not respond in kind but kept committing all things to God, acknlowledging His government and His sovereignty.
[sharing inspired from the life-study of 1 Peter msg. 19-20, as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (1); you can get the morning revival book online or become a fan on Facebook for more updates. Intro: Christ is our model.]
Lord Jesus, we love You! Thank You for the pattern You set before us. You are the model, and we are the Xerox copy of this model. Keep us enjoying You, dear Lord, more and more, until we become Your reproduction. Lord, save us from trying to imitate You or copy Your living in ourselves. O, Lord, keep us turning to You – the Living Person in our spirit! Live Your life in us, Lord Jesus!
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