by Eddie Snipes

This content is part of a series.

The Crucified Life (7 of 9)
Series: Stop Trying to Fix Yourself
Eddie Snipes
Matthew 16:24-25

When Jesus began sharing His coming crucifixion, Peter rebuked Him by saying, ''Far be it from You, Lord. This shall not happen to you.'' At this point, Jesus turned to Peter and said, ''Get behind Me Satan…for you are not mindful of the things of God, but of men.''

Of course, Jesus wasn't calling Peter 'Satan'. He was standing against the devil's influence over Peter. Peter's opposition was understandable, for we do the same things. We look at the comfort of this life as the evidence of God's favor, but there are times when the temporal stands in the way of the eternal. The thought of Jesus suffering was an offense to Peter, but Peter's desire to protect Jesus was an offense to Jesus.

Without the death of Jesus in the flesh, there would be no life given through the Spirit. When Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist said, ''He must increase, but I must decrease.'' In the same way, the life of the Spirit must increase, but our life in the flesh must decrease.

After rebuking Peter's desire to protect Christ, Jesus teaches us about the crucified life. Look at Matthew 16:24-25

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, ''If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
25 ''For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Taking up our cross is not the call to suffer. Many have said, ''This is my cross to bear,'' when they have pain in this life. Indeed, we may go through suffering, but the call to take up the cross is not God instructing us to find a way to suffer. It's the call to die to the flesh so we can find true life in the Spirit. In Jesus' interaction with Peter, He goes on to teach the following: John 12:24-25

24 ''Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it pro ...

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