1 Peter 3:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 3:18, NIV: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:18, ESV: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

1 Peter 3:18, KJV: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

1 Peter 3:18, NASB: For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

1 Peter 3:18, NLT: Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:18, CSB: For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

What does 1 Peter 3:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter has just stated that Christians are sometimes called to suffer, by the will of God, for doing good. Here, he again reminds his readers that's exactly what Jesus Himself did for us. This is a concise summary of what exactly happened when Jesus died on the cross.

First, He suffered, which is quite an understatement in the context of Roman crucifixion. Next, His suffering was for sin—not His own, but ours. And, importantly, Christ suffered and died only once. Jesus was the sacrifice for sins but, unlike the annual animal sacrifice for sins in Old Testament, Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin. God required no more blood, no more death.

Then Peter reveals that Jesus' sacrificial death was as a substitute—the righteous (Christ) for the unrighteous (us). Why did He do it? To bring us to God. Without Jesus' death for our sins on the cross, we could not come to God. Because of it, all who trust in Christ are brought to His Father. What was the result? Physical death, but not permanent death.

Following His crucifixion, Jesus was "made alive in the spirit." Bible scholars offer multiple explanations for what this phrase might mean, especially in light of the following verses. The most obvious explanation is that Jesus was resurrected from the dead by the Holy Spirit, something clearly taught in the rest of Scripture. Another explanation is that while Jesus was physically dead, His own personal spirit—Himself in Spirit form—somehow was made alive before His physical resurrection to accomplish what is described in the following verses.