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Second Sunday in Lent

March 8, 2009

Second Sunday in Lent         
March 8, 2009                                   

                                                                                  + Jesu Juva +

St. Mark 8:27-38

Who is Jesus?  Is your answer that of the street people?  John the Baptist?  Elijah?  Or just one of the prophets?  They’re just warm up acts.  Not the star of the show. 

Or will you agree with Peter?  “You, Jesus, are the Christ.”   Peter has it right.  Jesus is indeed the Christ.  The promised Messiah.  “You are the Christ!”  Good confession Peter!  Good confession those of you who agree!

During this Lent Jesus would instruct Peter, the other disciples, you and me what it means for Him to be the Christ.  So He warns us:  “Don’t tell anybody about me being the Christ just yet.  Let me teach you for a while.”

And that’s precisely what He does.  Jesus spells it out.  Quite boldly and repeatedly.  Are you listening?  Jesus is talking.  Jesus is teaching.  Jesus is preaching.  “The Son of Man must suffer many things.  The Son of Man must be rejected.  The Son of Man must be killed.  The Son of Man must, after three days, rise again.”  

Peter listened.  Heard what Jesus repeatedly preached. 

Suffering.  Rejection.  Death.  Resurrection.
Suffering.  Rejection.  Death.  Resurrection.
Suffering.  Rejection.  Death.  Resurrection.

Gave it some thought.  And Peter doesn’t like it.  Disagrees with Son of Man Christ Jesus. 

Takes Jesus by the arm away from the others.  Follows Matthew 18, has an audience with the Lord, and rebukes Him right to His face.  “Now look here Jesus.  You are the Christ. But I’ve done a little soul searching about what you’ve said.  The Christ cannot suffer, be rejected, die, and rise again!  Did you hear me Jesus?”

“Please, don’t interrupt me Jesus.  In my book this can never happen to you the Christ!  The Christ has a never-ending kingdom to establish. I have a whole world to gain with you Jesus!  I have a reputation!  And so do the others who’ve decided to follow you.  Let’s not ruin that.”

“Jesus, if we go with your scenario . . . no, let me rephrase that Jesus . . . I’m going to take charge here and mentor You through this Christ thing.  I don’t think I need to call the shrink yet.  But let me tell you once and for all:  you’re definitely NOT going to do this suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection stuff you’ve been preaching.  I won’t let you!  That’s inconceivable!  It’s down right shameful!   In fact it’s just wrong.  This for your own good Jesus.  I’m only looking out for you.  Someone has to.” 

Wow!  That takes some . . . ! 

What will Jesus do?  Repent of His preaching?  Preach something else now that Peter’s taken Him aside for that little . . . talk?   

Jesus looks at His disciples.  And then He let’s Peter have it.  “Get behind me Satan!”  

Satan?  When did Satan enter the conversation?  When Peter took Jesus aside.  When Peter insisted that Jesus go against what He’d been preaching.  Satan has entered the church and he employs a disciple as his fiendish instrument.  Who better than Peter to derail Jesus from suffering, rejection, death and resurrection?  Who better than the “rock man” Peter to knock Jesus off the trail to Jerusalem, the cross, and the empty tomb?  Get Jesus to be the Christ but minus suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection?  That’s satanic!

But Jesus has in mind the things of God.  He, the Christ, will be crucified.  He, the Christ, will rise on the third day.  That’s the only way it will be.  Otherwise Peter, the disciples, you, and me do not have a Savior. 

Jesus will do what He’s been given to do as the Christ.  He’ll suffer a Holy Week full of betrayal and rejection, a Good Friday cross, a holy Saturday rest in the grave, and an Easter Morning resurrection.  Because it’s all for you!  For your salvation!  For the forgiveness of all your sin!

Are you ashamed of that kind of Jesus?  Would you rather have a different kind?  The Peter kind perhaps?  A suffering-less, a cross-less, a resurrection-less Jesus?  A Jesus of your own making?  A Jesus that you can push around?  A Jesus on whom you can lay demands? 

Then you have in mind the things not of God but of men – and Satan.  Listen again to what Jesus says:  “If anyone is ashamed of me in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s kingdom with the holy angels.”

Those are heavy words.  Judgment Day words.  So who do you say Jesus is?  It’s His question.  His question to you.  The most important question that’s ever been asked to you in your life.  For it’s an eternal life or death question.

Will you take up your cross and follow a Christ Jesus that suffers, dies, and rises on the third day?  It’s risky business.  After all, you’ll lose your sin.  All of it.  Because Jesus insists that He’s come to take all of it in His body on the cross and to answer for it all.

Do not be ashamed to let Jesus have your sin?  Do not withhold any of it from Him.  For He is the Christ.  And His Son of Man reign is among sinners for whom He suffered, died and rose again.   

Jesus is everything.  We are nothing.  He died for you.  He rose from the dead for you.  What He did counts for you.  You are forgiven.  So very, very precious to Him.

So much so that you are heirs of His kingdom.  The beneficiaries of His dying for you.  He says so.  Plainly.  Week after week in the Supper.  “Here’s my body and blood that suffered, died, and rose for you.  It’s my gift to you.  And I give you My promise:  It’s for the forgiveness of your sins.”

Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you then proclaim His death (1 Corinthians 11).  His death on the Cross for you – until He comes in glory on the Last Day.  And believe me He will not be ashamed of you who believe in Him and His death for all your sins.
In the Name of Jesus.

From → "B" Sermons

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