Taking the Blame

You didn’t do it.  Do you protest your innocence?  Pass the blame to the person that did?  Or calmly take it, for the sake of the person that did?

1 Peter 2:19-25 (CEV)

19 God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. 20 You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. 21 After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

22 Christ did not sin
    or ever tell a lie.
23 Although he was abused,
    he never tried to get even.
And when he suffered,
    he made no threats.
Instead, he had faith in God,
    who judges fairly.
24 Christ carried the burden
    of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross,
so that we would stop sinning
    and start living right.
By his cuts and bruises
    you are healed.
25 You had wandered away
    like sheep.
Now you have returned
    to the one
who is your shepherd
    and protector.

This letter is written to encourage the Christians who were suffering and being persecuted for their faith.  Peter acknowledges that they are largely suffering for doing nothing more than following the way that Jesus had shown them.  Their treatment is unfair.  But, he reminds them, they are not the first to suffer unfairly – that is the way that Jesus went – and he really had done nothing wrong – ever!

They are suffering abuse and threats.  What they have to stand firm in, is that Jesus has been there, to the ultimate end.  He did it so that they, and we, know we are not alone.  Whatever we may be subjected to in the name of our faith, Jesus has been there.  His wounds, his scars offer us healing and his presence.

In the UK, we do not suffer for our religion.  Yes we may get the occasional funny look or be challenged, we may even be required to remove a cross as jewellery or a badge, but that is not suffering or persecution.  If we think it is we do a huge disservice to those who truly are suffering for their faith, places where people’s lives are in danger for what they believe.  In fact I think we do more persecuting of one another than we receive from others!

Yet there are things we have done, that we will not be punished for.  They are things we have got wrong, but yet we take no blame, because Jesus, the blameless one, has already done it.  We have wandered, we do deserve punishment, but we are saved from it.  He suffered and died, so that we might know life, freedom, a new hope and a new start.

So perhaps any time we think we’re suffering unjustly and feel like moaning; perhaps we should remember, not the things we haven’t done that we’re being condemned for; but the things we have done that we haven’t taken the blame for – quite a sobering thought.  And then thank God, that Jesus did.  The one who had never done any wrong took the blame of the whole world, of everything I have ever done wrong and offers me forgiveness, life and hope.

Unfailing Love

Forgive me Lord,
when I feel badly done to,
unfairly treated,
wrongly accused;
yet happily accept
not taking the blame
for things I’ve got wrong.

Thank you for Jesus,
who took the blame
for all I’ve done,
took the pain,
the insults,
the abuse
that rightly are mine.

Thank you for forgiveness
for freedom
for love
and for hope,
offered freely to me
at such great cost to you.

I pray for those who truly are persecuted today
for following you,
for safety,
security,
for strength
and hope

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