Speaker: Jerry Cisar
In his commentary on 1 Peter, Douglas Harink writes:
“At the very heart of [Peter’s] first epistle stands the figure of Jesus Christ as the one who suffers. As the suffering Messiah he defines the very character of messianic life.” If one had to identify a single theme of 1 Peter, I’m not sure they could do better than saying that it is about “the very character of messianic life.”
“What is messianic life?” It is that life conformed to Jesus Christ. It is what should have been meant by the word “Christian.” “Christ” is from the Greek word for anointed one, just as messiah is Hebrew for anointed one. Thus, the messianic life is the life of God’s anointed people in the world.
“Anointed to what task or role?” To that of being a priestly people in the world. To share, as Harink puts it,
“in the Messiah’s suffering, redemption, and resurrection life is their participation in, their enactment of, the hidden revolution in which God is bringing about a new creation.”
We are called to be participants in God’s hidden revolution; one in which He is bringing about a new creation. To do so, we must recognize and live out our status as exiles in the particular places we live. To live as an exile dispersed in the United States is quite different than living as an exile in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, or Bithynia, but it is not a difference of kind, only of application. In other words, it’s not as though the church in Peter’s time was called to live as exiles in a strange world while the people of God today are called to be right at home in a familiar place.