Sinning against Christ’s Cross

“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”Matthew 16:21, 22 

Not only was Peter blessed with the revelation from the Father that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, he also had the blessed privilege to confess that revelation before Christ and the other disciples, Matthew 16:16-17, 

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

On the heels of that blessed revelation, the Lord reveals to His disciples the truth of the crucifixion; and immediately, Simon Peter rebukes the Lord. Straightway, the Lord Jesus rebuked Peter, Matthew 16:23, 

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 

Was the Lord saying that Peter was possessed by Satan himself, just as Judas would be later when betraying the Lord (Luke 22:3; John 13:37)? Certainly not; Christ was illustrating how offensive it is to deny His sacrificial death. 

Simon Peter continued to misunderstand the necessity of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension until the end of the Lord’s earthly ministry, John 13:37, 

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 

Simon Peter’s misunderstanding of the cross of Christ was even injurious to others, John 18:9-10, 

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 

But thank God for that Pentecostal day! For that same servant, Simon Peter, who misunderstood the cross so miserably, was also given the privilege of glorifying God in Christ. Peter preached Christ, and Him crucified, in the temple at nine in the morning with the presence, power, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, given by Christ and sent from the Father because to the reality of Christ’s sufficient sacrifice, His resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of Majesty (Acts 2). 

Are we submissive to the Holy Spirit to see the blessed truth of the cross of Christ, or are we sinning against the cross?

About Jon J. Cardwell

"The Spirited Speaker" - Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama. Nationally recognized speaker and publisher. Author of several books, including the bestseller, Christ and Him Crucified.

4 Comments

  1. Oh, what special love and patience Jesus had for Peter… and has for us! How it encourages me! Yet nothing amazes, edifies me more than the transformation that the finished work of Christ had wrought in him!

    Sin against the cross? Much like the former Peter, I would shout, “Never!” but let me not forget to ask that His Holy Spirit would help me to be able to really live up to that!!! “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt 26:41

    Thank you, brother, for reminding me that I shall misunderstand and fail miserably unless I submit to the Holy Spirit! Blessings!!

    • Amen, Sister Petra.

      The more I grow in Christ and the more I see the cross, the more I’m reminded of the passage from 1 Cor 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

      Blessings to you, dear sister.

  2. A wonderful devotional. Thank you.

    One thought:

    “Simon Peter’s misunderstanding of the cross of Christ was even injurious to others, John 18:9-10,”

    How sensitive we must be and wholly committed to the will of God in light of this! Our brothers and sisters can be hurt or helped in their walk with the Lord. Our faith is not a personal matter; it has implications on those around us!

    May there be much grace to keep us from hindering or injuring another soul in the Lord.

    • Truly, sister. Very amen.

      One of the last applicational insights that the Lord allowed me to present in last Sunday morning’s message in Romans 12:1-2, “A Living Sacrifice,” was that we must also exercise caution in how our living sacrifice, presented holy and acceptable and reasonably to the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit, appears to others… because if it brings attention to what we have done and causes others to take their eyes off of Christ, we have sinned.

      O, the abounding grace and mercy of God. How we do need it so continually.

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