From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:21-23
The Cross of Christ seems like a mystery, even 2,000 years after it happened. The questions of why did Jesus have to die? Why would the Son of God willingly lay down his life? What does this cross mean for us today? These are questions many ponder today and questions the disciples pondered centuries ago, however Jesus already answered these questions before he even went to the cross!
Jesus said “How he (Christ) must go into Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed, and rise again on the 3rd day” Jesus clearly laid out God’s redemption plan for humanity, however the disciples and many people today, still don’t understand what Jesus did for us! Even when the scriptures foretold in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, that the Messiah had to die, the disciples still didn’t understand what Jesus told them
Peter actually rebuked Jesus, think about that! Peter said “Lord , this should not happen to you” Now Peters heart was in the right place, but he didn’t understand God’s redemption plan for humanity, that Christ would pay for the sins for the world so we can be justified before God the Father and inherit eternal life. I fear many today still don’t understand this fact, that Christ is our Passover Lamb, that Jesus paid it all on the cross!
The first step is the understanding of our sinful nature, our depravity. Until people recognize they are sinners and repent, they will never understand the cross of Christ. If people truly understood their sinful nature, and they understood the wages of sin is death, then they would be crawling to the cross! This is why it’s important to preach the gospel of Christ, which was commanded by Jesus himself (Matthew 28:19)
In another twist, Jesus called Peter “Satan”! Why? Because he totally misunderstood the gospel, and misunderstood Christ’s mission here on Earth, to bring salvation to everyone who repents and becomes Born Again! The Passion of the Christ, is the core of the gospel message, and is God’s finished redemption plan for humanity! Amen!