Pastor’s Message March

Stop It!

Mark 8:31–32 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.

garbage“Stop it!” cried little Josh. His classmates at school were all holding their noses as they walked by him.

“But we have to plug our noses,” one of them retorted. “We don’t want to smell the garbage. Your dad collects stinky garbage.”

“He does not!” Josh called back.  But he wasn’t so sure. That evening he crawled onto his father’s lap. ”You don’t really collect garbage, do you?” he asked.

“It’s true,” his dad replied. “But collecting garbage is a good job.  Just think … ”

But he wasn’t able to continue. Josh was running away, tears streaming down his face. “No! You can’t collect garbage! It can’t be true!”

It must have felt something like that for the disciples when Jesus told them what his job really was. They had high expectations for Jesus. Peter had just made his beautiful confession about Jesus, “You are the Christ,” and Jesus had openly accepted it (Mark 8:29). The disciples must have been almost jumping out of their sandals with excitement!

CrossBut what Jesus told them next must have taken the wind out of their sails. “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.” The Christ must suffer?  That can’t be right! Jesus had to be killed? Surely not!

But that’s the whole reason Jesus came to earth: to suffer and die as the substitute for a sinful world. Being the Christ did not mean good times and a life of earthly glory. Jesus would have to bear a cross. Before the true robe of royalty, would come the fake robe of mockery. Before the crown of glory, there would be a crown of thorns.

Jesus did not refuse to bear his cross. Every step Jesus took led him closer to Calvary. He never stopped or turned back. And because Jesus carried his cross, we have forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation in his name.