Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross to be both our Savior from sin and our example for living. If we fail to see Him as our Savior, our sins will not be forgiven. If we fail to see Him as our example, we will live in disobedience to Him and miss out on His best for us.
During World War II, I heard a sermon in which a chaplain exalted Christ as our example but ignored His role as our Savior. He eulogized the men who died in combat, referring to them as “little christs who endured their own Calvary.” He challenged us to be self-sacrificing and courageous. But he said not one word about the salvation Christ provided. I left the service with a heavy heart. He had not given the whole truth.
In 1 Peter 2:21 the apostle admonished his readers to follow the example of Christ, who trusted His Father enough to suffer undeservedly without retaliation or complaint. In verse 24, we read that “He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” This refers to Christ work as our Savior. He’s both our Savior and our example.
I have received Jesus Christ as my Savior. Have you? And though I’m not following Him perfectly, I take Him as my example. Do you? – Herbert Vander Lugt
He shed His blood, poured out His life,
He gave His all at Calvary;
Oh, what can we give Him in return
For love so rich, so full, so free? – Anon
Christ is the lamb who died to save us; He is also the shepherd who lives to lead us.
- April 14, 1990, Our Daily Bread