Summary: As we work our walk to the cross for Easter celebration, We see many things that Jesus desires to teach us as we journey.
Take up your cross
Good morning everyone
Would you please turn to the book of Matthew chapter 16:21-16:28
We will begin today a mini series called “ Journey to the cross.”
I hope to show you in God’s Word what the cross should mean to us as well as what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us.
Easter Sunday a message of what that empty cross and Jesus resurrection means to us.
Jesus here is taking and dealing with his disciples.
Jesus asks his disciples a monumental question- “Who do people say the Son of man is?” they reply, John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and one of the prophets.
Then He asked them, and made it personal, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter gives a monumental answer- “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”
Jesus says “Blessed are you Peter, that answer came from God the Father, and upon that truth I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not be able to stop it.”
He warns his disciples not to tell anyone yet, because the time is not right and then he predicts that He is going to die- that is where we will pick it up this morning.
Matthew chapter 16:21-16:28
Peter is a great guy isn’t he?
Jesus gives him the truth that He is the Christ, the Messiah, and upon that truth He will build the church, protect the church and hell will not be able to stop it.
Then Peter takes his stand!
He rebukes Jesus and says never Lord, that will not happen! Like a mucho man , he says, I won’t let that happen to you!
Good intentions… how is that working for you this morning! About as good as it works for peter.
Peter later says that he will never deny Christ- He denies him three times.
At Gethsemane, won’t you pray with me- bodies weak and they fall asleep.
Jesus looks back at Peter and rebukes the rebuker-
“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 man.”
Jesus got right to the heart of it- he sees good intentions without God will fall short.
• They do not have the objective of God, but are man’s attempt to please God.
Jesus gathers his disciples
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
There is a perfect three point message
1. What does it mean to deny yourself?
2. What does it mean to take up your cross?
3. What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Let’s try to take smaller bites at a time.
Commitment is a dying thing today. People are not and do not want to commit to anything or anyone.
We see it in failed marriages.
People don’t want to belong to any organization because they might ask them to do something.
Even in the church some race from church to church and never get settled or grounded in any one place.
As Christians, we have been called to be a different kind of people.
We have been called to be committed to Jesus, and committed to the things that Jesus was committed too.
So let’s look at Jesus answer to Peter;
I. if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself.
What does Jesus mean to deny yourself?
By definition, deny yourself means to cease to make self the object of one’s life and action. (repeat)
If you are to come after Jesus, it is not about you ! it is all about Jesus.
Jesus taught the crowds of people in parables, but he taught his disciples by direct truth!
Tells it like it is- it is not about you.
Your relationship with others, the church, especially relationship with me, it’s not about you , it is all about me.
Jesus was committed to go where he was not wanted.
Jesus was committed to suffer for those that rejected Him.
Jesus was committed to die for a lost world.
Jesus was committed to the cause so that He would see the victory.
If you are to come after me, you will have to deny yourself.
Don’t be too quick to criticize Peter saying “never Lord” I won’t let this happen.
If you are living life your way and by your strength- at times, Jesus will have to rebuke you and get you back on track.
The world may not like commitment, but Jesus is calling his disciples to commit.
There is a difference between someone who likes and listens to music and the commitment and skill to make music.
There is a difference between wanting a music experience and becoming a musician.