He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
I’ve always had a place in my heart for children’s fiction. I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome, and always wished that I too could spend my time sailing and having adventures. A few years ago, still inspired by the likes of Blyton and Ransome, I wrote my own novel for children, called “Beyond the Door.” I wanted it to be a very traditional style novel, but with a modern twist. I decided early on that I wanted to get away from the all-very-nice kind of book, and that I would kill off one of the main characters. During the process of writing, though, I got very attached to all my creations, and couldn’t bear for one of them to die. I therefore wrote in an entirely new character with the specific intention of killing her off. I couldn’t even bring myself to do that though! She fell into a coma, but eventually woke up and lived happily ever after.
It must be awful to lose a friend. In today’s verses, Jesus tells his disciples that he will be tortured, rejected and killed. Peter, who has grown close to Jesus, cannot bear to hear this, and tells Jesus to stop saying these awful things. Jesus responds by telling Peter that he does not understand the way that God does things. Jesus also tells his disciples that he will rise from the dead after three days. It is this act, dying and rising again, that is the central reason for Jesus being born in the first place. Jesus says that he must suffer and must be killed. There were no other alternatives. He came to die on the cross. When he did, he took on all the sins you and I committed, paying the price for disobeying God that we should have paid. By rising from the dead, though, he defeated death itself. As a result, you and I can approach God, and have eternal life with him in his new creation.
Without Jesus, we would be destined to eternal damnation, because sin is so much a part of us, and is unacceptable to God. Since Jesus paid the price for us, though, we can be saved. Let’s give thanks that God planned for Jesus to save us, and that Jesus went through that pain, suffering, rejection and death on our behalf.