Lesson 7—For Us
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:20-21
Lesson Goal: To gain a better understanding of God’s love for us and to use this understanding to give testimony of higher praise and greater thanksgiving.
Because we are sinners, God knew we needed a Savior (Redeemer). It was not as though God had an “oh yeah” moment. He knew we needed a Savior, and He loved us enough to provide one. We do not need computers or calculators to recognize and understand this. We have a God of love and grace, and He demonstrated this love for us through His Son, our Savior. (Read Romans 5:8)
(Verse 20) The death of Christ on the cross was not a kneejerk reaction. It was not a “panicked, emergency, have to come up with a plan B” solution. It was not a twist of fate or a last second option. Peter wants his readers to understand that the death of Christ (Redeemer) to pay the price for our salvation (Redemption) was planned before the cosmos appeared. This was absolutely not an afterthought by God.
“The planned death of Jesus Christ, planned prior to creation, was for us. We should not view Christ’s death as an isolated, distant, impersonal event. Peter personalized the death of Christ for each of us. It is as if the entire purpose of God was planned and implemented specifically for each of us alone” (Anders).
“So it was then, before God ever stooped down to fashion Adam’s clay, before the song of the seraphim ever awoke the echoes of the everlasting hills, before the galaxies were ever flung into orbit, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit conceived the plan to redeem Adam’s ruined race when once the fall transpired” (Phillips).
“God, of course, knew our total emptiness—that we are helpless to work or buy ourselves out of sin’s slave market. So even before the foundation of the world, He had a plan ready” (verse 20) (Swindoll).
➢ Instead of verse twenty becoming a point of controversy or debated concerning fore-ordination or foreknowledge, ask God to help you understand His great love for you. Just how do you know that God loves you? Give scriptural support for your answer.
➢ Can a solution to a problem be formulated before the problem actually appears?
Please allow me to answer this with one word “Absolutely.” Now apply this to verse 20. What does this mean—“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world”?
(Verse 20b) “Manifest,” meaning to reveal, to make clear, to make plain
(Verse 20b) “in these last days” is a familiar expression referring to the entire period between the birth of Christ and the Second Coming.
(Verse 21) Think back on, and discuss in detail, the situation, circumstances, and condition of Peter’s audience. The better we understand this, the greater our appreciation of verse twenty-one.
Verse twenty-one is truly one of the hidden diamonds in Scripture. At a casual glance or hurried reading, it may seem insignificant. But upon careful and prayerful examination, its meaning comes alive and begins to shine like the North Star on a clear autumn night.
Would you ask God to open the meaning of verse twenty-one to your spiritual eyes so that it will shine its meaning into your daily life?
(Verse 21) To truly understand verse twenty-one, we must look back at the last two words of verse twenty—“for you.” It is so very hard for us to grasp the meaning with pure and total understanding of “for you.” Have you ever given any consideration or thought to what these two words mean?
When we speak of God’s love, it only takes personal meaning when we discover “for you.” When we consider God’s amazing grace, it only finds meaning as we understand “for you.” When we begin to understand the vastness of God’s forgiving power, forgiveness means something greater than comprehension when we understand “for you.”
Christ’s death on the cross is significant; but its worth, its importance, and its value are put into context by the words “for you.” By God’s revelation, somewhere in the midst of truth “for you” becomes “for us.” The price paid for our salvation was a great price, but we begin to understand a little about its cost when we see it was “for us.” The punishment inflicted upon Christ on His way to Calvary stirs our emotions, but it begins to flood our souls when we understand “for us.” The nails in His hands and feet grieve us, but it becomes all painful when we understand “for us.” He was “despised and rejected by men” for us. “Surely He has borne our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken,” for us! “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities,” for us! “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter” for us!
Questions for Life Focus
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, has the reality and awesome truth stirred your soul at the revelation that “for you” has become “for us”?
What does it mean to you that on the third day He was raised “for us”?
What does it mean to you that one day He is coming again “for us”?
In the midst of life’s struggles, heartaches and troubles, what does it mean to you that He is “for us”?
No matter where you are in life today, no matter the difficulty, the pain, the sorrow, the suffering, can you find hope in the absolute fact He is “For Us”?
Write a paragraph of love to God expressing your praise and thanksgiving found in the truth “for us.”