“Jesus then began to teach his disciples. He taught them that the Son of Man must suffer many things. He taught them that the elders would not accept him. The chief priests and the teachers of the law would not accept him either. He must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke clearly about this. Peter took Jesus to one side and began to scold him. Jesus turned and looked at his disciples. He scolded Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You are not thinking about the things God cares about. Instead, you are thinking only about the things humans care about.”
Mark 8:31-33 NIRV
Reading: Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 9:21-22
“What! They are already selling hot cross buns,” she said. “It’s only the 3rd of January, Easter is still 3 months away.” Like so many others, my wife had made the connection she was supposed to make - hot cross buns equals Easter. Hot cross buns are a symbol, as association, with Easter and every year they draw our attention to the coming event of Easter. Whether we celebrate this holiday in a secular or a faith-filled way, when we see the store shelves fill up with hot cross buns and Easter eggs its announcing, “Easter is coming.”
The very first Easter announcement was not that innocent and jolly.
We read about it in Matthew 16 and Luke 9 where Jesus began to teach his disciples about his upcoming betrayal, arrest, death and resurrection. Peter’s action (Matthew 16:22) was understandable, if uninformed.
“What? God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
Peter had made a very bleak connection - no more messianic king, no more kicking the Roman army out of Israel and no more amazing miracles that had recruited so many followers. For Peter, Jesus’ death signified nothing other than the worst possible personal and national loss that he could imagine. Later, he was to learn the true significance of Jesus’ death at Passover.
The inevitability of Jesus’ death did not begin with that Matthew 16 announcement. It started at the time of the fall in the Garden of Eden, when mankind sinned. It continued through to one dark night in Egypt when the Passover lamb was slain and God’s people made their escape through its blood. It culminated on the cross of Calvary where Jesus died.
What is the common theme you may be asking? It’s the promise of a Saviour who would reconcile this world back to God through his death. Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb of God effectively paying for the forgiveness of our sin.
What ‘connections’ do you make when you hear the word Easter? Is it buns and chocolate eggs – or the reality of your sin and Jesus’ sacrifice for you?
Dear God, Remind me once again of the connection between Easter and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
For the family
Explain the devotion in an age-appropriate way, then watch this video which reminds us of Jesus sacrificial death https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4XyYv991h4