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The Cross: God Forbid!

The Cross: God Forbid!

Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You. -Matthew 16:22

Up to his point, the life of Jesus is a story of success and popularity. Healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, feeding the hungry, teaching about lilies of the field, blessing the little children, even raising the dead, he has attracted a tremendous following.

Jesus now begins to show his disciples what his life is really all about. Peter’s great confession–“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” has been affirmed by Him. He has given them the assurance of the future of his church. And Matthew says, “From that time on Jesus began to explain that he must…suffer…and…be killed. Whereas, Peter incredulous, exclaims, “God forbid it.” (“You’ve got to be kidding!”)

And Jesus answers, you’re not on God’s side but man’s. Not only must I go to the cross, but if you are to be my disciple you must come with me. And as time goes on and Jesus begins to make clear what that means and where it leads, he loses the crowds shouting hosannas to those shouting “crucify him.”

Someone has said, “A gospel which centers on a cross and finds victory in death makes no sense whatsoever,…A gospel which turns life upside down and demands that we make every human loyalty subsidiary to our allegiance to Jesus Christ flies in the face of everything that men naturally find acceptable.”

Those on the other side of the cross, looking ahead to it or standing before it on that fateful day, always were with Peter: “God forbid.” They did not know “Friday” and “Saturday” was followed by Sunday.

 

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