Written by: Scotty Smith
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:31-33
Dear Lord Jesus, one of the many things we cherish about the Bible is the way it robs us of our penchant for hero worship. Who but God would write a book documenting the foibles and failures of so many of his beloved children, and leaders--like when Peter tried to keep you from the cross.
This gives us great encouragement and hope--especially your patience with Peter. It also gives us freedom to acknowledge that we need the gospel today just as much as the first day we believed it. This'll be true tomorrow, and next month, and next year. We know this to be true, because we're so much like the Apostle Peter. Like Peter, we also try to "keep you from the cross,"--that is, we deny the necessity, sufficiency, and wonder of your death for us at Calvary. How do we do this?
- When we think of you more as our example of godly living, than our substitute to trust, we deny the cross.
- When we believe--even for one nanosecond, that our obedience earns anything from God, we deny the cross.
- When we believe the accusations and the condemning lies of Satan, we deny the cross.
- When we live with a critical spirit towards others and remember their sins against them, we deny the cross.
- When we wallow in self-contempt and shame, we deny the cross.
- When we refuse to believe God loves us as much as he loves you, Jesus, we deny your work on the cross was enough to redeem us and reconcile us to our Father.
Forgive us, and free us from our cross-denying beliefs and ways. May your finished work on the cross become more precious to us, and may our boast in the cross grow louder and louder (Gal. 6:14). So very Amen, we pray, in your patient and compassionate name.