Seeing Things Beyond The Cross
2nd Sunday of Lent
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
February 28, 2021
Readings: Genesis 22: 1-14
Romans 8: 31-39
Mark 8: 31-38
During our journey in Lent, we must remember that this is the time that Christ is on His way to the Cross. Therefore, it is necessary to know His instructions for us. He is the source of Light. Without Him we are nothing. Things in this world are temporary and will not last. We need to see the awesomeness of His creation and how fascinating He has made the human body. God is the one who created the earth. Man will not destroy the earth It will be forever. God’s plan is for life and peace on this earth and we need to let this truth sink in our hearts. Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
God’s joy is continuous and never-ending.
We see Jesus teaching His disciples the things to come. How He will suffer many things, how he will get rejected, and then be killed. The disciples however did not fully understand what He meant. They were only seeing these things in the physical realm. It was hard for them to believe that the Messiah would be rejected. Peter, being Peter, even set Jesus aside and saying he would not allow this to happen. Jesus’ response was, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” He wasn’t directly rebuking Peter, but rather the spirit, or “human’ side of Peter which was controlling his thinking. Each time we think we can do things our own way, we are thinking through our “human side’ and not seeing things with our spiritual eyes. Jesus knew what He was going to go through. He understood He had to face death in order to conquer it. He was going to destroy the enemy’s works on behalf of humanity. And the only way He could destroy it is to conquer it.
If we set our lives on the spirit, and know that God is the ruler, anxiety should not be part of our lives. Christ knew what he was going to be facing which included physical pain, in order for Him to give us His life. The temporal part should not control us but somehow many of us are letting it control us. If we have confidence and faith in who we are, then we should not have anxieties in our lives. If we are living the opposite way, we are hypocrites. Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
If we really understood God’s plan, Christ’s death should bring us joy instead of sorrow, Sure, there is the temporary sadness of seeing the suffering, but the result that His death should bring us joy instead. Although we may face difficulties in life and carry problems or “our own cross,” we are to pick up the cross and conquer the problems, not run away from it. Jesus overcame the cross after 3 days. The cross could not hold Him. This is why we should realize that we are bigger than our problems. The problems do not have the ability to destroy us if we knew who we are in Christ. To give in to the problems is to deny that Christ is the Redeemer. Yes, momentarily, Christ may have suffered on the cross. God may have pulled back His hands to help. But in order for the task to be done, he had to do this. Because in doing this, Christ came out as the Victor. We are to give Him glory by taking the things He has given us to use wisely. While there will be those who will discourage us, our confidence should be in Christ. When we put our faith in Him, we will be victorious. The temporary things will not last, but the things of God are eternal. God will strengthen us in the hour of need.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” The whole Godhead is in us. This should be a reality in our lives. If we truly comprehend this, we will have peace, joy and life itself.
The Lord wants us to see beyond the suffering and realize the joy it brought us. God gave us new life and that life is made complete.