SACRIFICE AND OBEDIENCE!
A LENTEN THOUGHT
Sacrifice, a fundamental act of obedience to God, runs counter to established norms and expectations.
Jesus, in the midst of growing support for his movement, does the unthinkable: He spells out the messianic call to suffer humiliation, die on the cross and be raised 3 days later. A suffering messiah given over to the enemy? Sounded absolutely crazy.
"Is he on something"? his followers must have asked themselves. A fiery heavenly blast against the Roman empire, would have been their preference.
Peter probably spoke for his disciples when he began to rebuke Jesus; rural Galilee had pinned their hopes on this young carpenter. This was not a time for suffering and humiliation but revolutionary change. In contrast, the great messianic hope, talks about being handed over to the enemy in Mark 8:31-38.
In heaven I hope to see a DVD of this episode. It must have been a riveting scene.
Death, suffering and resurrection were part of an overall plan to settle accounts with a Holy God. Jesus, the Son of God, unlike a poll driven politician, knew what the stakes were: a Holy being, unbesmirched by sin, had to bear the full force of God's judgement that should have been ours. Jesus, weighing the cost of his impending act, in Gethsemani, consumed the cup of God's wrath on the cross and rose from the dead in victory.
Jesus valued obedience to His father.