On Imitating Christ

“For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”

— 1 Peter 2:21

Christ has left for us an “example.” The Greek term hupogrammos is an interesting one that means, literally, an “underwriting.” This is a reference to that which was done in the Greek schools at the time when the teacher would very carefully write out the letters of the Greek alphabet for the primary students. Then the students would write over them in their own feeble attempts to reproduce and imitate the example the teacher had left.

Many years ago, I visited one of the Hebrew classes at our Knox Theological Seminary. The students were doing what I clearly remembered doing some 50 years ago, and that is, carefully trying to copy those Hebrew letters.

Christ has also given us an alphabet of life. He has given us an example—an underwriting by His life for us to follow. He is the great exemplar. He is the perfect person to imitate. Would you like to know what life is supposed to be like? Look at Jesus Christ; He embodies it all Himself—the perfect example of goodness and truth and love and kindness and firmness and righteousness and justice. Of course, no one can live up to His example. But after we receive His salvation, His Spirit gives us the grace to live in a way that pleases Him.

He is the pattern of our life as well as the purpose and parent of our lives. Therefore, He is our life.

Lord Jesus, give me strength for today to follow in Your footsteps. Help me to follow Your example: Your patience with Your disciples, Your compassion to all, Your kindness even to the outcasts, Your concern for Your Father’s house…