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FAITH: Find a life truly worth living

Brad McKenzie

“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. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 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.”

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? 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.”” Mark 8:31-38 ESV

Even though Jesus rebuked him for doing so, I don’t really fault Peter for his reaction to what Jesus told them had to happen. No one wants to hear someone they love is going to die. What is important here is Peter focused on the death part, never really taking hold of the promise of resurrection. We frequently do the same.

Jesus went on to teach the crowd the commitment necessary to follow Christ. He explained to those listening the requirement of death! You see, Jesus had to go to Jerusalem to be killed by the leaders of the Jews, but in doing so He would also be raised to life and provide humanity victory over sin, hell, and the grace. The same would be necessary for those who would want to follow Christ. We must give up our life in order to find life. This may not make sense in a human view, but when considered in the kingdom, in the spiritual, it is the only way!

I would like to challenge all of us during this season of Lent to consider our willingness to give up our lives to follow Christ. We can be confident in the promise of Jesus for those who lose their life for His sake, will find a life truly worth living!

You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

 

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.