Peter reminds us that Jesus’ sufferings had a purpose – ‘to bring us to God.’ He uses a word that has the meaning of being properly introduced to a situation. We can imagine going to a palace and not having a clue what to do or where to go. We would be very thankful if an appropriate person gave us access to each room.
This purpose of Jesus has several stages, and here are four of them. First, Jesus brings us to God through the gospel message when we initially respond to it by faith in him; at the moment we are reconciled to God, and we have been brought to him.
A second sense of being brought to God occurs throughout the Christian life when, through the merits of Jesus, we have access to God’s presence and experience fellowship with him. This fellowship can be enjoyed in times of prayer, or in meditation on the Bible, or in public worship services, or when walking along the road by oneself, or with other believers, or when engaged in Christian service. We do it all in God’s presence, a reminder that Jesus had brought us to God.
A third aspect takes place when a believer dies and goes to heaven; when that happens, his spirit, ‘made perfect in holiness’, does ‘immediately pass into glory’. They are brought by Jesus into the presence of God. This is happening countless times a day, and each time it is an achievement by Jesus.
A fourth aspect will occur in the future when Jesus returns and recreates the universe in which God will dwell with his people for ever. What a vast number of sinners he will have brought to God – a number that no-one can count, from all tribes, from all languages, from all places and from all periods.
It does us spiritual good to reflect on these various benefits that come to us because of the sufferings of Jesus at Calvary. And it is important to acknowledge that it is Jesus who brings us to each stage and introduces us to it.