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Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Good News

Matthew 16:21-23

“21 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!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Some things are hard to hear and we don’t want to hear them.   Bad news carries with it a certain amount of pain. We don’t want to believe that it is true.  But suppose the bad news that is too horrible to believe is actually the good news?

Peter did not want to believe what Jesus was telling the Disciples was true. He had given up everything to follow Him and had spent the last three years of his life witnessing the miracle of His life and words.  He had seen many miracles and many people healed by Him.  And now, this good man, the Messiah, the Son of God was saying that He was to die a horrible death at the hands of the religious leaders of the Jews.

Even though Christ had healed the blind, the crippled, and the lepers; had raised the dead and walked on water; even though people had seized him to make Him their king; even though He had asked him, “Who do you think I am?”and Peter had answered, “You are the Messiah, Peter could not believe what he was saying about His impending death and resurrection.

I think the only part that registered in Peter’s mind was the part about Christ’s death.  I don’t think he heard the part about being raised to life on the third day. Jesus was actually telling the Disciples that He would survive death.   But all they heard was the word “death”, which to them was bad news.  What they did not know was Christ’s death was an important part of the good news.

Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are the good news.  And all are waiting to be heard.

Hear the good news.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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