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Why The Cross

(35)

Sermon shared by Jack Whitehead

October 2002
Summary: Why did Jesus have to go to the cross?
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Why The Cross

Matthew 16:21-23

21 From that time Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priest and teachers of the Law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “ Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Peter had just made a profound statement that Jesus was “The Christ” son of the living God. (Verse 16) Now
Jesus has begun to teach his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and that there he would suffer many things.

Jesus also teaches to whom the sufferings will come from, the elders, chief priest, and teachers of the law. Then Jesus tells that he must be killed, and on the third day be raised to life.
It amazes me how quick we are to judge Peter, by his actions in verse 22. The audacity of Peter to pull the Lord aside and rebuke “The Son of God”. How dare Peter try to tell the Lord what he should and should not do, as if Peter had a better plan? Is that not what we think when we read this passage of scripture? How dare he! Yet if you will stop and remember before you were saved, did you try to come up with your own way of salvation? Did you try to be saved by any means other than the cross?
The fact is that Peter just like most of us did not see the need for Jesus to go to the cross. I mean after all Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus had power beyond human understanding, he could just speak the word and miracles would happen.

So why go to Jerusalem and suffer as a man, instead of just ruling as God? Why allow yourself to be put to death when you don’t deserve death? Jesus you don’t have to do it this way!! “Lord this shall never happen to you!”

I can understand Peters cry unto the Lord, Lord far be it from you. You see Peter was at the same place that many are at today. Peter didn’t understand the importance of the cross; he didn’t understand what would be accomplished on the cross that couldn’t be accomplished any other way.


Therefore Jesus begins to rebuke Peter “Get behind me Satan” you are a stumbling block to me. Why do you think Jesus called Peter Satan? Why was Peter a stumbling block to our Lord Jesus? Jesus called Peter Satan because; Peter was trying to hinder what Jesus came to do. Just like Satan Peter was standing in the way of Jesus and the work He came to do, instead of standing beside Jesus. Satan tried in numerous ways to keep Jesus from reconciling sinful man to a sinless God. Just like Satan, Peter didn’t understand how Jesus was going to save his people by going to the cross. It just doesn’t make since. Have you ever noticed that a lot of God’s ways don’t make since to us? The bible says that his ways are above ours. One thing we can be sure of is that God knows best!

So why the cross? Jesus said in verse 21 that he must go and suffer many things. Jesus had to go to Jerusalem and face the cross for two reasons. One because it was decided before the foundation of the world, that he would give his life (blood) for his people. 1st Peter 1:19-20

Second because Jesus was to fulfill the Law and the Profits. In other words Jesus was
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