Home > Gospel, New Testament > Jesus Without His Cross

Jesus Without His Cross

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Matthew 16:13-28 is one of the most important chapters in the New Testament.  It may even be considered the most important chapter in Matthew.  In this passage, we find an interesting contrast; one minute Peter is confessing Christ and the next minute he is rebuking Christ.  Even though Peter made this grand confession of Christ (by way of divine revelation), there still remains confusion on his part about Jesus.  Isn’t Peter’s emphatic rebuke of Jesus in 16:22 understandable to some degree?  Peter had the same misconceptions about the Messiah as others did.  Messiah would be a political and military figure who would overthrow Roman power, rather than a suffering servant.  If Jesus is the Christ, then why does he have to die?  Peter is thinking in earthly categories.  Peter is trying to prevent Jesus from going to the cross.  His attempt to frustrate Jesus from going to the cross is not simple ignorance, but actually is born out of something quite evil.

What we learn here is that Jesus’ identity (the Christ, the Son of the living God) cannot be separated from his occupation (suffering servant).  We cannot talk about Jesus or claim to have Jesus without his cross.  If we attempt to have a Jesus without the cross, we actually have no Jesus at all.  As a matter of fact, to claim to have Jesus without his cross is not only unbiblical–it’s demonic.  That is why Jesus says to Peter, “get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me.”  If we minimize, ignore, reinterpret, or gloss over the agony of the cross and what God was doing at it, then we cannot claim to know Jesus.  The cross is at the heart of Christianity; because at the cross God did for me what I could not do for myself.

Categories: Gospel, New Testament
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