Summary: This is a dramatized sermon that focuses on the Apostle Peter in his early days with Jesus.
Note: This was as the beginning of a sermon series called "The Cross Through Many Eyes". It is a combination of Scripture and drama, written for one key actor, and two readers, who alternate reading the Scripture vignettes. The Scriptures are a combination of NIV and The Message paraphrase by Eugene Peterson. The key character is Peter, who responds and comments after each passage is read. The focus of this drama is to view the corss through the eyes of Peter, so the Scriptures are all ones that directly involve Peter. This drama is suitable for Good Friday or for a service before Easter.
Today we are looking at The Cross Through the Eyes of Peter. Peter, one of the chief apostles, was quite a character. We will listen to some key Scriptures that look at Peter as. he was leading up to the cross, the suffering and death of Jesus, and then how he was after learning and experiencing Jesus after His resurrection. You will hear these Scriptures, and then Pastor Matthew, in character as Simon Peter, will share some thoughts on the Biblical record of The Cross Through the Eyes of Peter.
Peter is an interesting character. He was both very quick to respond when Jesus called him to follow him, and he was the disciple who put his foot in his mouth most often. Peter was passionate and impulsive. He was brave, and he was a coward. He loved Jesus, and he loved his own life. He was committed and he was conflicted.
Please note that today’s presentation is limited to Peter’s experience up to the final scene only. It does not address the fact that eventually he became a key Apostle and a father of the faith. Catholics identify Peter as the first Pope. All Christians recognize his very, very important contribution to the establishment of the Christian Church. Peter was martyred for his faith, refusing, ultimately, to deny Christ when the chips were down. This is a dramatization of Peter’s early days with Jesus as a young disciple.
And now we enter the gospel story to look at key passages that involved Peter:
Vignette #1: Who is the Christ?
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”15 He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
20 He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.
Yup. That happened. Just the way Matthew wrote it. Hi everyone. It’s my pleasure to be with you here today. Not sure if we’ve met, but I am Peter. Now I don’t want to brag but:
1. Of all the disciples, I figured it out first. I knew who Jesus was before all the others! I know I put my foot in my mouth more than most, but I got this right. You gotta give me that.
2. Jesus called me blessed
3. Jesus called me a rock and he said that He was going to build something on that Rock.
4. Then He says He’s going to give me the keys to the kingdom. I gotta tell you, I’m feeling PRETTY SPECIAL right about now. Wouldn’t you?
Vignette #2: Please Don’t Call Me Satan
Matthew 16:21-22 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the 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!”