The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
Reading: Mark 8:27-38
Additional reading: 1 Corinthians 6:14
Blanks: what about you, suffer, killed, rise, God, cross, loses
About this time, Jesus wanted to know how much his students have understood so far.
(3) So he asked:
"Who do you say that I am?"
(3) Who is he?
Peter came up with one of the right answers.
"You are the Messiah."
But Jesus didn’t give Peter the credit.
Jesus gave the credit to God, instead.
Jesus recognized that God has been working and persuading him to realize this.
Anyway, at this time, the disciples of Jesus roughly understood that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God.
Then for the next lesson, Jesus stated to teach them that he must suffer many things, as the Jewish elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law would reject him.
Then the Roman Government would kill him, even though they would not have enough evidence to convict him.
As if being the Christ is a crime, they could kill him.
But then after three days he would rise again.
Jesus wanted to help his students understand this part of his life.
So, Jesus explained to them again and again.
Jesus was like:
“It is God’s plan.
This is how God gives eternal life.
So, don’t try to stop me living like this.
But be part of it.
Prepare your mind for this.
And remember that I will rise back again.
I am aiming for my resurrection and your resurrection.
I prepare my mind for this.
So you, my students also must buy into this.”
But then Peter didn’t want to hear this.
So, he had a nasty argument with Jesus.
He just didn't want to hear about the death of Jesus.
It was scary.
He wondered: how could this be helpful to anybody?
So, he rebuked Jesus for talking about his death like this.
Then Jesus rebuked Peter saying:
“Get away from me, Satan!
You don’t care about the same things God does.
You care only about things that people think are important.
You have no idea how God works.
God wants to turn things around.
In this way, God will bring people to himself.”
Then, Jesus explained how God thinks.
Then Jesus was like:
“If you want to be my disciple, you must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
If you want to save your life, you will lose it.
If you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it.
What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet lose your soul?
What can you give in exchange for your soul?
If you are ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, I will be ashamed of you when you come in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
It turned out Jesus was calling people to die and lose for God.
That was the situation that Jesus saw.
So, Jesus was asking them to aim at their resurrection.
Jesus was asking them to aim at the world beyond this one, because Jesus could help them to live there.
It was a difficult pill to swallow.
But Jesus talked about his death often until they understood.
Even after Jesus was resurrected, Jesus reminded them saying:
“The Son of Man was to be delivered into the hands of men.
They killed him, and after three days he rose.”
When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to them, the Holy Spirit continually explained this so that they could understand.
The Holy Spirit asked them to aim at their resurrection as the Holy Spirit helps them.
God, who has raised Jesus, will raise us up through the Holy Spirit.
(3) But no cross, no resurrection.
We need to take up our cross.
Jesus will empower us to take up our cross.
Then we will have the resurrection of Jesus.
We will experience the power of the resurrection that Jesus bestows on through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, gracious and loving God, you came to give us abundant life.
Thank you for calling us to be your followers of the truth.
Fill us now with your strength to take up our cross and follow you.
May we live the abundance of true life you intend for us.
May people around us also see your love and grace at work in us and follow you with us as well.
Jesus, you choose to suffer and have the glory of resurrection.
May we be able to live in this power of resurrection.
May we follow you all the way.
Through Christ our Lord, we pray.
You will be able to go there by your own power.
The Holy Spirit will help you there so that you may follow the right living.