A religion that centers on a crucified God-man is a scary religion — for its members. Christians cannot simply move past the gritty, violent mess of the cross for the glory of the resurrection. Peter drags our eyes back to the cross: “Christ also suffered once for sins. . . . Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking” (1 Peter 3:18; 4:1). Not only does Peter urge Christians to remember the cross, but to use the cross as a model for their life.
Those who follow Jesus to the cross can turn to face the malice of those who do not know God, in order to bless them and show the beauty of Christianity. And, like Jesus, we do not sweep away justice when we return blessing for evil. Rather, it is because we know that all will give account to God that we can leave justice in his hands (1 Peter 4:5). No sin is ever left unseen, so we are free to bless and endure evil, knowing that God himself upholds justice.
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 10 in a series on 1 Peter called “Hoping, Singing, and Loving in the Refiner’s Fire.” More parts will be released in the coming weeks.