When we suffer, we’re tempted to question God’s presence and sovereignty, even more so when the suffering is directly tied to our following Christ.
Where is God? Does he know? Does he care? Why isn’t he doing anything?
Peter’s response–as it so often is for him and other biblical writers–is to go to Jesus, specifically to his death, resurrection, and exaltation.
There’s a significant interpretive difficulty in this passage, and we’ll spend a little time with it Sunday, but even if we don’t understand the particulars of Peter’s statement here, we can understand these truths:
- We will suffer, but Jesus, though righteous, suffered on our behalf (the unrighteous).
- He was raised to proclaim victory over all of the forces of darkness.
- Consequently, he has been exalted and now reigns over all “angels, authorities, and powers.”
Peter’s point is this: sometimes it might look and feel like evil is winning; we can imagine how the Christians during the dark days of the Roman Empire found themselves doubting their future. But because of what Jesus did for us, we know that all evil will ultimately be defeated. In fact, Jesus has already proclaimed victory over all demonic powers and now reigns as King.
As Christians, we trust in that fact, even when the world makes it difficult for us. We anticipate with great hope the day when the Lord’s reign will be realized throughout the world.