This week begins the liturgical season of Lent. When I was growing up, I did not understand Lent. I thought it was reserved for Roman Catholics. Since I was Southern Baptist, I thought I was exempt; I did not have to give up chocolate like my Catholic friends. As I have grown older, I have come to understand that Lent is for everyone. It is a season of reflection and preparation for Easter.
This week, we will be looking at a deep and complex text. 1 Peter 3:18-22 is written to a suffering church; they are living in the grips of Emperor Nero. He was an incredibly vicious persecutor of Christians. He was even known for dipping Christians in oil, hanging them from lamp posts, lighting them on fire to illuminate the streets. Peter’s words in this text are not long before his own death.
In this text, Peter reminds Christians that they serve a God who suffered for them. While they were experiencing difficult circumstances, they could look to their salvation provided by Jesus’ death on the cross. He likens the situation to the days of Noah. Even in an evil world, follows of Jesus can be assured of provision.
I hope you will join us on Sunday as we explore 1 Peter 3:18-22 together.
(1 Peter 3:18–22 NIV11-GK) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.