Matthew 16:24-28, 17:1-9 (2)


See God at the Cross
Reading: Matthew 16:24-28, 17:1-9
Blanks: face, clothes, love, Listen, the Son of Man

Jesus said something like this:
(2) “God really loves you.
God really cares for you.
God also wants to do for you what only God can do.
So, God asks me to die for you at the cross.
Because then you will be forgiven forever.
So, I decided to do that so that God would rejoice that you could have a good life now.”

(3) Then Jesus said something like this to his students:
“Because you are my students, I want you to take your cross and carry it with me.
In this way, you can make our message available to more people.
So, carry it with me."

(3) But Peter was not listening.
He had his own plan.
He wanted Jesus to continually perform miracles and heal people.
And he wanted Jesus to be the king who would rein the whole Israel.

(2) So, Peter was like:
“How can I stop Jesus from thinking his cross?
What can I do for him?
Because I am not going to allow Jesus to die on the cross.
I am going to protect him. (Matthew 16:21-24)
I am going to make sure that he is safe.”

You see, he wanted to protect Jesus in his own way.
He could not understand why Jesus had to take his cross.
So, he tried to build some strong supports for Jesus’ ministry.

(4) But Jesus knew that Peter could not protect him.
Some religious leaders were making plans to kill him.
And they would succeed.

(3) So, one day, Jesus took Peter, and two of his students, to a high mountain.
(3) Then when Jesus was praying, the face of Jesus was shining.
His whole body was shining.
(3) Then tow historical figures appeared.
They were Moses and Elijah.
They appeared to have a talk with Jesus.
They might have said:
“You really need to die on the cross.
Did Peter understand it now?”

(2) But when Peter saw this, he was so excited.
Peter was having fun now because nobody would kill Jesus when he was shining like this.
So, Peter was like:
"Jesus, you are shining.
This is great.
Let me build three houses for you.
Then you guys can stay here together forever.”

(3) When Peter was like that, God decided to jump in.
So, God was like:
"Peter, why don’t you listen to Jesus and try to understand what he is saying.
I love Jesus.
I love Jesus the most because he is even willing to die for you guys.
So, don’t make it harder for him.
Listen to him and understand why he has to die.
Be humble and patient so that you may follow Jesus.”

(3) When God spoke speak through the cloud like this, Peter was terrified.
But then Jesus said:
“Don’t be afraid.
It is ok.”

(3) Then when they came down from the mountain, Jesus told them again something like this:
“Don’t tell anyone about what you have seen and heard until you see me raised from the dead."

(3) So, even though Peter wanted to protect Jesus, Jesus chose to die on the cross.
Then because Peter really loved Jesus, it was very painful for him to see him crucified and suffered like this.

(3) Then Jesus rose from the dead.
Then Peter was starting to understand.
Peter was starting to see God in the sufferings of Jesus.
(2) Peter was starting to understand how much painful it was for God to forgive their sin.
So, he found God here at the cross.
God humbled himself and died for them.
When Peter understood the suffering of Christ Jesus, he understood that this was the way that God would save us from our sins.
Then, Peter understood what Jesus wanted to teach all long.

We might think God is powerful and God can do whatever God wants.
But God is seen here at the cross for us.
Then God asks us to take our own cross to follow God.
God asks us to die for the people that God loves.
Because in this way, the world will see God and God’s working in us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for your cross.
Thank you for your life.
We love you and we want to love you.
So, let us love you and your people so that we may also follow you taking our cross for you.
Holy Spirit, help us so that we may truly live for the Christ who has died for us.
In Jesus name, we pray amen.