Sun, Apr 02, 2017

Is the Cross Really Necessary?

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Big Idea: It was necessary for Jesus to suffer and die for our sins. Even Jesus’ closest friends didn’t understand the necessity of his sacrifice. Jesus teaches that we too must be prepared to suffer for God purposes.

I. Turning point of the gospel (v. 21)

II. Peter’s objection (v. 22)

A. Context: Peter’s ups and downs.

B. Peter takes Jesus aside.

C. It’s a process – he begins to rebuke Him.

D. Irony – Peter is calling Jesus Lord but treats Him like a wayward child.

E. Don’t go there.

III. Jesus’ answer (vs. 23-28)

A. The answer is sharp
B. Not only is the cross necessary for Jesus, but it will be necessary for us.

C. Jesus introduces the paradox of finding and losing.

D. There will be rewards.

E. Jesus told the disciples that they would see His glory.

Discussion Questions:

1) What is one of the memorable turning points in your life that you feel comfortable sharing about? What are some of the defining characteristics that make a turning point a turning point?

2) What specifically was the turning point in the Matthew 16 passage, and why?

3) Why did Peter rebuke Jesus? What do you think was Peter’s motivation?

4) Why did Jesus respond the way he did to Peter? Do you find Jesus’ reaction harsh? Did Jesus overreact?

5) Have you ever said “no” to God? “I will never do this or that,” or “I refuse to do this or go there”? If you feel comfortable, please share your example.

6) Why is suffering a necessary and inevitable part of the Christian life?

7) What does Jesus mean by, “whoever would save their life will lose it”? How can you lose your life?

8) What are you prepared to do to lay it on the line for Jesus? What does that look like in your everyday life?

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