Sermon – Take Up Your Cross
This lesson follows immediately after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus followed up the confession of Peter with his teaching to the disciples that the Messiah’s purpose was to die. This did not coincide with the well-established tenets of the Jewish faith and their biblical interpretation. Every previous Messiah (David, Josiah, Hezekiah) had been a military leader and political ruler. This Messiah, however, did not come to establish a kingdom and overthrow oppression through political force or through weapons of war. This Messiah came with only one weapon in his arsenal: love. Those who would follow this Messiah must not wield any other weapon.
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”