Daily Devotion – May 20, 2020 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,

Peter is telling us why Jesus suffered and died. It couldn’t be plainer. Jesus wanted to bring human beings to God – like a shepherd leading a flock, like a policeman returning a lost child to his parent, like a service that gets elderly people to their doctors’ appointments, like a rescuer getting a car back on the road when it has driven into a ditch. Jesus wants all God’s children to know God and be able to get to God (or get back to God).

Peter is saying that whether or not these humans WANT to end up with God, Jesus gives them safe passage to God. It is as if Jesus has seen us stranded or lost or directionless and is offering to take us to the best place ever, the loving embrace of a parent who has been waiting for us eagerly.

Peter is saying that whether or not these humans think they DESERVE to end up with a loving God, or whether or not some humans think some other humans deserve to end up with a loving God, Jesus will get them all there. He guarantees it. No matter what WE think.

I mean, people certainly have the right to refuse. Jesus knows some will fight it all the way. But he gave his whole life so that the whole human race could be reconciled with God, and, as Paul says in Romans, after that act of Jesus, nothing can separate us from God. Except ourselves maybe.

Let’s give up parsing God’s love and Jesus’ intentions. Let’s accept that God is bigger than our divisions. And let’s acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, no matter what. His sacrifice has the power to get anyone back to God. We are, in fact, reconciled with God through Jesus’ death, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s know that God loves every human being. Maybe it will help us be more loving as well.

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for loving us no matter who we are or what we have done. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice to bring us to you. We are coming, Lord. We want to be brought to you.  Amen.