The surrender of Jesus’ life is vividly seen in the way that He willingly gave Himself up as our substitute. He didn’t of the cross against His own will, but was surrendered to the will of the Father. His sufferings were not inconsequential; there was a sovereign purpose behind them. He suffered for us. He bore our sins in His own body as our substitute. The word “bore” in verse 24 means to carry the full weight of something heavy. Jesus carried the massive weight of our sins in His own body on the cross, something so heavy that all of creation groans and suffers from sin’s consequences. Peter is saying that Jesus carried the full weight of that! He bore in His body the weight of our sins. Jesus was fully surrendered to pay the ultimate price to save me. He did not give part of Himself. No, He gave all of Himself. What was the purpose? It was two-fold:
“…that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”
Jesus carried the weight of my sin in His own body on the cross so that I might die to sin and self. The cross of Jesus repudiates all form of the self-life. How could I as someone who is following in His steps live as if life were all about me? But isn’t that what we are often tempted to do? We come to church and sing such rich anthems of worship like, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” or, “At The Cross” or, “I Surrender All.” And yet if we remain unmoved in the way that we view ourselves, if we fail to renounce the self-life, its nothing but empty words. He gave all of Himself for us, and following Him as His disciple means that I now surrender all that I have and all that I am to Him. “Me first” cannot be in the vocabulary of His disciple.
Negatively, the cross means that I die to self. Positively, it means that I now live for righteousness. I am now free to pursue righteous living because Jesus has made me righteous. The Holy Spirit living within me enables and empowers me to live righteously. No longer do I live for my own will—I’m surrendered to His will.
Peter says that by His wounds, you have been healed. He took the nails for me! How can I not live for Him?