Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009 - 2nd Sunday in Lent – Mark 8:31-38

Jesus announces His suffering in Jerusalem. He teaches that He must suffer and die and calls upon His disciples to follow Him in the same. Jesus and the Disciples are at Caesarea Philippi. Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ. Thereupon Jesus explains to His Disciples that as the Messiah he must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. This did not fit Peter’s conception of the Messiah and therefore he rebukes Jesus. Jesus sees this as a temptation not to go to the cross. He turns down the temptation by seeing Satan in Peter. Then, Jesus explains to both Disciples and people that they, too, are to take the way of the cross that involves denial, suffering and sacrifice – the discipline of Lent.

The rugged cross means a rugged way of life for a follower of Christ. The Christian style of life is a hard life. Jesus’ life consisted of sorrow, rejection, suffering, and death. His followers can expect no less. The Christian life has a cross at its center. John Bonne said, “No cross is so extreme, as to have none. There is no gain without pain.” President Truman had a sign on his desk, “Bring me only bad news. Good news weakens me.” In Tom Sawyer Clemens wrote, “He had discovered a great law of human action without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covets a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.”

O God, You see of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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