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The Tree

1 Peter 2:24 — He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

One time while attending a men’s conference, I was walking down the steps in this large arena we were meeting in. The lights were low as a band led worship from the main stage. I was in my twenties at the time, and I’m fairly athletic, so what happened next is about as embarrassing as it comes. I walked down the steps, looking for the row where the men of our church were sitting, and I somehow missed a step in the process and fell. But I didn’t just stumble. I went down at least four or five steps as thousands of men stood for worship, hundreds of them staring right at me. Being in that humiliating position where everyone was looking at me was awful. Twenty years later and the memory lives stronger than ever. 

The reason for this story is because of our passage today. The text is found in Peter’s letter to Christians scattered throughout the world. He describes how Jesus bore our sins in His body on the tree. By “tree” Peter is referring to the cross of wood created by the Roman Empire as an instrument of cruel death. Jesus bore our sins in His body. The wrath and judgment of God fell on Jesus at the cross for the sins and transgressions of His people. The Father treated the Son as the One who committed the sins. Why did He do this? That we, the ones who actually committed the sins, might die to sin and live to righteousness. The cross of Jesus transforms us. Our sins are forgiven and erased, and Jesus’ righteousness covers us. His death on the Roman cross transforms our lives. It is by His wounds that we are healed from our brokenness. 

Only in the wisdom and majesty of God
can an instrument of death
be used to transform broken sinners
and give us eternal hope.
The humiliation of Jesus stripped
naked, beaten, and hung before
crowds of people, brought our salvation. Only God. 

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Reflection & Journal:

  • When is a time you’ve been humiliated in front of a crowd of people?
  • What does Peter say about the humiliation of Jesus on the cross?
  • What are the benefits we receive by faith in Jesus’ finished work?

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