This week in Matthew 27 we read about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and the unbelievable events that led up to His death on the cross. He tried to prepare Peter and the other disciples for all that would happen, but as the events began to unfold, the journey must have seemed unthinkable, especially to Peter.
He had no difficulty with believing Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God. But Peter couldn’t imagine that Jesus’ life would end as the Savior described in Matthew 16. The image of Jesus being brutally tortured and killed by evil men could not register in his soul.
I imagine Peter saying to himself: “This can’t be true; it must be another test to see if we’re paying attention. This is not the God I know!”
Peter’s sharp rebuke of the Master in Matthew 16:22 only exposes the struggle we all have in trying to make sense of a God who could make such an unbelievable demand. Jesus’ response was “unthinkable” to Peter.
So what happens when the road in front of us entails an unusual amount of pain, suffering and sacrifice? When it goes beyond the boundaries of what seems reasonable or fair, how will we respond? Can we follow the Lord down a road that appears unredeemable?
Peter struggled to believe God’s plan could entail the torture and death of His Son. What good could come from such a messed-up situation? How could Jesus allow Himself to go along with this plan? Peter must have had a hundred ideas that sounded better to him than this one.
But Jesus declared: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25, NKJV).
The cross was the unthinkable road before Jesus. The true power and purpose of His life lie at the end of that road.
Resurrection, life and power lie at the end of the unthinkable road.
Several times along our discipleship pathway, we will find ourselves staring down a road that challenges our perspective of what God can redeem for the good. Like Peter, we might ask, “How can this be God’s best plan, and how can He bring life out of this?”
Be encouraged! We follow in the footsteps of a Savior who has already been down that road. In His resurrection, He redeemed our lives from the abyss of pointless suffering.
Now, when we walk down the unthinkable road before us, we know what awaits us: everlasting life, unshakable faith, kingdom reward, transformed character, greater authority, increased intimacy with the Father and more!
Thank you, Jesus!
What unthinkable road lies before you? What reality pushes the limits of your faith? It may be that you are at one of those discipleship moments right now.
Praise the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever!
By: Ryan Oddo, senior pastor The Bridge (Rancho Margarita South Foursquare Church) in Rancho Margarita, Calif.
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