1 Peter 2:21-24 – For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 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. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
If you have ever hiked on snow, you know that it is easier to follow in the footsteps of someone who has gone ahead of you, rather than blazing the trail yourself. But, just because someone has traveled the path before you, does not mean the hike will be easy, you still need to do the work in order to get to the end of the journey and enjoy the scenic view.
Our walk as Christians is a lot like this. As we read in today’s passage from 1 Peter, we do have someone who has gone ahead of us, in whose footsteps we follow. We have someone who lived the perfect life that we are unable to live and who died the terrible death we so much deserve for our sinful ways. That someone is Christ, who took our sins to the cross and shed his blood so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”
Even though the trail has been blazed for us, we still have work we are called to do. And, while our works can never earn the salvation already bought for us by Christ’s blood shed on the cross, being a Christian does not mean we can just sit idly by. As we read in Christ’s own words from Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
The Christian walk is not always an easy one, especially when you consider in whose steps we follow. But the rewards at the end of the journey will far exceed even the most scenic and spectacular views we find at the end of the trails we travel in this life.
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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.