How quickly some of the exhilaration and headiness of the occasion must have dissipated when Jesus responded “Follow Me - now and always -  every step of the way?  You really do not know what you are asking.  You really do not know where your Messiah is going.  You really don’t know the price your Christ is going to pay.”

Then Jesus began to teach them that The Son of Man (The Christ, The Son of The Living God) must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes (the power structure and authorities of church and state) and be killed, and after three days rise again. Jesus said this plainly.  

The disciples understood what Jesus was saying – or thought they did – and  they did not accept what they heard Jesus saying.  They may not have heard what He said about rising on the third day – certainly didn’t understand that part of His message no matter how plainly He was talking - not after all His talk about suffering, being rejected, and being killed.  

The Christ, The Son of The Living God Who gives sight to the blind, healing to the deaf and lame, speech to the mute and health to the ill, calms the stormy sea, feeds 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish, casts out demons and even raises the dead cannot suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed. That’s not how it works according to human logic.

Peter took Jesus and began to rebuke Him. Ever the group spokesman, Peter verbalized his own thoughts and the thoughts of the other disciples.  Paul understood Peter and the other disciples at Caesarea Philippi when he wrote of his own missionary work “Judeans demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. … For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

Had you and I not read the Easter story before reading this text and not been so sure of The Gospel’s outcome, Peter could well be speaking for us as well.

They all wondered – as we would have – how could Someone with Power to give sight to the blind, healing to the deaf and lame, speech to the mute and health to the ill, calm the stormy sea, feed 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish and even cast out demons be made to suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed?  How can Someone with Power to raise the dead go so willingly to be killed?

Peter took Jesus and began to rebuke Him. But turning and seeing His disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Jesus’ words to Peter certainly remind us of last Sunday’s text with that great battle waged between Jesus and Satan during the great temptation of Christ.  Now three years after that confrontation Satan was back with his message – this time through Jesus’ disciple Peter.  Not because Peter was an evil man – he wasn’t.  Not because he chose to follow Satan – he didn’t.  Like all of us, Peter was a sinner who could not always recognize the difference between God’s Plan and the world’s way of looking at things. 

    

When Jesus spoke to His disciples that day at Caesarea Philippi and Peter made his enlightened confession, God’s Plan for our Salvation was truly already under way. Remember how Paul wrote that Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God – how could it be robbery when Jesus True Man born of the virgin Mary is actually True God from all eternity? Jesus made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant made in the likeness of men – God came among us as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ and ultimate servant of humanity. As Jesus Himself said "The Son of Man - The Christ - did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (MARK 8:45)

And being found in as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. God had come into the world as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ to suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed. He was and is the only Way to our eternal Salvation.

We, human beings are all responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion for "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus" and that gift comes as Jesus resolutely suffers many things, is rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and is killed on that horrible cross - as  Jesus gave His life a ransom for many. "God demonstrates His Own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Now, through the Enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,

In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering ore-the wrecks of time

That God, so lovingly and so faithfully, could take that most awesome and dehumanizing instrument of death in all of human history and turn it through His loving Sacrifice into The Only Way into our eternal Life and eternal Relationship with God.

Truly “In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering ore- my sins and my death and all the wrecks of time

We, human beings are all responsible for His death for "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus" and Jesus gave His life a ransom for many.

THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS – OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOUR – WHO DID IT ALL FOR US.  AMEN.  

+________________________+

Second Sunday In Lent

February 25, 2018

 

Dr. Kurt Borows Jr.

Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio

 

Bible Verse of the Day

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