How Christ Conquered Bitterness


When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

No one was more grievously sinned against than Jesus. Every ounce of animosity against him was completely undeserved.

No one has ever lived who was more worthy of honor than Jesus; and no one has been dishonored more.

If anyone had a right to get angry and be bitter and vengeful, it was Jesus. How did he control himself when scoundrels, whose very existence he sustained, spit in his face? First Peter 2:23 gives the answer: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

What this verse means is that Jesus had faith in the future grace of God’s righteous judgment. He did not need to avenge himself for all the indignities he suffered, because he entrusted his cause to God. He left vengeance in God’s hands and prayed for his enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Peter gives us this glimpse into Jesus’s faith so that we would learn how to live this way ourselves. He said, “You have been called [to endure harsh treatment patiently] . . . because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

If Christ conquered bitterness and vengeance by faith in what God, the good Judge, had promised to do, how much more should we, since we have far less right to murmur for being mistreated than he did?