For what renown is it for you if you are sinning, and then, being beaten with fists, you endure it? But if you endure, doing good and suffering for it, this is favorable with God. For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving Himself to you as an example, so that you may follow His steps—He who did not commit sin, nor was under-handedness found in his mouth… who Himself bore our sins in His body upon the tree, so that having died to the sins, we may live to the righteousness… (1Keifa 2:20-24, MJLT)
As we enter into the Passover season, we celebrate not only Israel’s salvation from captivity and oppression in Egypt, but also the individual salvation that this event ultimately foreshadows. During this annual time of commemorating our freedom from sin, we have a unique opportunity to refocus and to remember what Yeshua selflessly did on our behalf, and the consummate purpose to which He has called us. Unfortunately, this high calling—which is clearly spelled out by the emissary, Keifa—is essentially foreign to today’s modern Body of Messiah.
According to Keifa, our purpose as Messiah-followers is to “do good”—it’s just not the feeding-the-poor/clothing-the-homeless type of “doing good” (although, it doesn’t call for the exclusion of such activities, either). No, when Keifa says “doing good,” this phrase is in juxtaposition with “doing evil” (1Keifa 3:17), and in our immediate context, it is opposed to “sinning” (1Keifa 2:20). Therefore, “doing good” according to Keifa means to stop sinning and live righteously—and even more, to do so especially if it involves our own discomfort, suffering or persecution.
So That You May Follow
But why pursue righteousness even to the point of suffering? “Because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving Himself to you as an example, so that you may follow His steps.” If we bear the name of Yeshua, we obligate ourselves to conform to His character. Just like the One “who did not commit sin,” we too must strive toward sinlessness. Just like the One in whose mouth was found no under-handedness, we also must speak no word of deceit, but rather boldly declare the truth of God.
The Master Yeshua “bore our sins in His body upon the tree,” but not merely to show us the way to everlasting life. On the contrary, He explicitly “died to [our] sins, [so that] we may live to the righteousness.” We are not just to follow Yeshua’s steps into eternity, but during every single moment of the life we are leading today—no matter the cost. As Paul also confirms,
With Messiah I have been crucified, and no more do I live, but Messiah lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, MJLT)
The purpose of your life is to live everyday selflessly, accepting through your actions the sacrifice of the Messiah that set you free from your sins—even and especially if it means that the price to advance Messiah’s cause is your own life.
Only In His Steps
Clean out, therefore, the old leaven, so that you may be a new batch of dough, because you are unleavened, for our Pesach—Messiah—also was sacrificed for us, so that we may keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the matzah of purity and truth. (1Corinthians 5:7-8, MJLT)
This Passover season, as you remember the sacrifice Yeshua made for you, I invite you to consider how you have been living for Him in return. The Master left us Himself as an example to follow—let us be diligent to walk only in His steps!