Words from Pastor Ken

The Necessity of the Cross

“Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” And He warned them to tell no one about Him. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His”.  ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭8:27-38‬ ‭NASB 1995)‬‬

The first time that Jesus informed His disciples about the necessity of the Cross occurred immediately after Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ. After Peter made his declaration, Jesus began to explain to them what it meant to be the Christ, but Peter would not listen. He had his own visions of the Messiah’s role, and there were no crosses involved. It is interesting when a mortal man wants to lecture God on what God’s right and proper role should be. Can you imagine how many times old Peter blushed about that incident in the days that followed?

Jesus responded to Peter’s rebuke with the strongest language He had ever used: “Get behind Me, Satan!” I believe that as soon as Peter began to say the Cross was unnecessary, Jesus was reminded of another who wanted Him to bypass the Cross by bowing His knee. Satan had said that the Cross was unnecessary; if Jesus would simply bow down to him, he would give to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus turned to His beloved disciple as if to say, “You are the devil for Me this moment. Get behind us Me!”

Sometimes the ways of God seem contrary to everything we believe ought to take place. But if we attempt to manipulate God into doing our will, we are on the side of all the forces of evil. God’s will must be done God’s way, and God’s way always involves a Cross.

Pastor Ken

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