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March 15: The Glory of the Cross (Matthew 16:21-23)

 Adult Education: This Sunday at 9:00am, Nik Lingle will continue a series on Peacemaking in the youth room ("Gently Restore: Helping Others Own Their Part in a Conflict"), and Ray Rutledge will continueThe Gospel Project in Adult 1.


Matthew 16:21-23

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (ESV)


Sermon Summary

This passage is somewhat of a shift in the storyline. "From that time..." indicates that a new phase has begun. Jesus shows his disciples how he must be killed and then raised on the third day. In fact in the chapters ahead, Jesus will make these truths explicit to the discples on numerous occasions. In other words, this new phase in the story moves more directly toward Jesus' self-sacrifice on the cross. For the disciples, this comes as a quite unexpected turn in the story. Although Peter has demonstrated God-given insight in recognizing Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, he is slow to understand that Jesus' ultimate triumph will be through death and not apart from death. This becomes another opportunity for Jesus to correct and instruct Peter and the disciples about God's transcendent plan - God's ways are not man's way. His glory and his goodness are seen through the apparent weakness and suffering of the cross. This passage reminds us that we must praise God that Christ has suffered so that we might be forgiven and delivered from suffering forever.


Review and Apply

  1. What aspect regarding Jesus' death as 'necessary' impacted you the most? Why?
  2. What is the difference between a 'potential' versus 'actual' salvation?
  3. What is lost if one does not believe in the substitutionary nature of the cross?
  4. What reasons do people have in struggling with the necessity of Jesus dying? How can you answer them?
  5. Describe a theology of glory and where do you see it in your life?
  6. How does a consciousness of sin lead to delight in God? How do you practice this?
  7. If you look at interest, time and desire, what is your mind set on?
  8. What can change your life so that your mind can be set on the things of God?