Title: Christ our King wore a crown of thorns for you!
Text: Mark 8:29-33 (
29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
During the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier. Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again."
Christ our King wore a crown of thorns for you!
In our Gospel lesson today Jesus will teach his disciples an important lesson.
Traveling northward Jesus and his disciples came into suburbs of Caesarea- Philippi. This region, of which
Caesarea was its capital, had been built on the site of a former village on the eastern slope of , near the source of the Lebanon Jordan River. Philip was tetrarch and called the new city Caesarea, in honor of the emperor Caesar but to distinguish it from the city of the same name on the western coast of ; he added his own name as a distinguishing mark - Caesarea-Philippi – named after Caesar and Philip! Palestine
Most of this region was beautiful and prosperous and Jesus took this time of walking with His disciples to talk and impart wisdom to them and to ask them an important question. To get at this He began by asking them about the people.
“Who do people say that I am?”
This probing question, Jesus asked to really set up the real question He wanted to ask them.
28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
This question was not addressed at anyone in particular. It was a question for them all. It was asked to inquire in a frank way what they believed and confessed. The question Jesus asked and wanted to know was what do you believe and who do you say I am?
Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
The answer of Peter can be understood properly only in this sense: That as Peter spoke … he spoke the confession of them all and for them all: “You are the Christ.”
They declared it as their firm conviction that this Jesus, their Master, was the promised Messiah, and they connected to Him all the attributes with which the prophets had given this greatest of all prophets. The confession of Peter is the confession of all the disciples and all true believers of all times.
But quickly this understanding of who Christ is changes as He begins to teach them the truth of what He came to do.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Peter would have nothing of this! He just confessed for himself and for all the disciples that Jesus is the Christ; the Messiah who had long ago been prophesied to come and save God’s people. Now he pulls Jesus aside to set him straight …
And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
…can you hear him? “Jesus, hold on here … you’re the Christ! We are now looking for this earthly King that will defeat our enemies and set up his Kingdom here on Earth! I was expecting this sweet palace job. I was expecting to have this office next to you in the palace and my own region to exercise influence and rule over. Yea, yea, yea, Caesarea- Philippi would be a great place to for me, Peter the Great, to rule over!”
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
It was here that Peter put his foot in his mouth, in his very impulsive way; He had an altogether different idea of what the work of the Messiah, Jesus, was. Peter here proved to be the very adversary of Christ; it was Satan himself who was attempting to hinder the work of redemption through Peter. Peter’s rebuke of Christ had nothing of God's will in it, but only that of man … weak, sinful man, that cannot understand God's ways and works.
Christ our King wore a crown of thorns for you!
You too fall victim to your own sinful desires. You’ve failed to do the will of God in your lives. You grumble and you complain, you gossip, you fret and worry about what others haven’t done and the wrongs that have been done to you … and when I say you … I mean me too!
We all can easily see the sin of others - better than our own. Removing the plank from our own eyes before attempting to remove the speck from our brothers … is seldom done.
And, as Peter received rebuke for his statement to Jesus it fell too on the ears of the other disciples and to us as well. They all felt the reproof, though it was directed at Peter only.
What about us today? What about churches that remove the cross because it is and offence to some and attempt to function as nothing more than social clubs for the Christian looking to be perpetually entertained and sustained with programs and designer coffee and self-help books to living a better life and being a better you … now?
“Get behind me, Satan!
In the suffering and death of Christ - His divine wisdom and our human ways and methods part company. The cross of Christ is foolishness and an offense to human ideas, but is in reality divine wisdom and divine power from our Lord and savior Jesus
Christ our King took upon Himself a crown made of thorns for you!
35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
Jesus here is giving the disciples another lesson. This world and all it holds and even their life will pass away.
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Christ our King as he made His way to the cross would wear a crown of thorns for these disciples and for you!
The Good News is that you and I who name the name of Christ are covered. You are covered because Christ our King has come and has takes the rebuke of the world - for you. He has had the sins of the word, yours and mine - placed upon himself.
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He willingly gave up His life so that you and I can live with Him in eternity. We have peace with God by faith. From our epistle reading today:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (
God has reconciled Himself to us through Christ and has freed us from our sin and guilt by His blood.
Christ our King wore a crown of thorns and gave up His life for you!
In our opening illustration we read of the help of the commanding officer who said:
"Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again."
Our God has come and has taken our punishment. He comes to us here in word and in sacrament and comforts us that our sins have been paid by the blood of Christ. We will receive His true body and blood in the sacrament of the altar to strengthen our faith in His saving work and we bring our prayers of thanks and petitions to Him knowing that He hears our prayers and intercedes for us to the Father on our behalf.
Christ Jesus our King and savior.
By the power of the Holy Spirit in us will see us to eternity now and forever.