Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, August 30, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn.
Sermon Text: Matthew 16:21-28
Sermon Theme: “Following Jesus”
Old Testament: Jeremiah 15:15–21
Epistle: Romans 12:9–21
Holy Gospel: Matthew 16:21–28
The Glory of God Is the Passion and Cross of Christ Jesus
After St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, our Lord “began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Matt. 16:21). Upon hearing this “theology of the cross,” Simon Peter stumbled into a satanic “theology of glory.” But the glory of God is revealed in the Passion and cross of His incarnate Son. The faithful prophets, such as Jeremiah, suffered persecution and rejection in anticipation of Jesus’ cross. Yet the Lord did not abandon them; He remembered them, and He was with them to deliver them (Jer. 15:15–20). By His cross, Jesus has redeemed the world, and in His resurrection, He has vindicated all who trust in Him. Thus, the Christian life is a discipleship of self-sacrificing love. Since Christ Jesus has reconciled us to God, we “live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18). By the certainty of His cross and resurrection, we “rejoice in hope,” and we are “patient in tribulation” and “constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).