The Messiah’s Kingdom Glory

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 We spend a lot of our lives thinking about or talking about death. These thoughts and conversations often bring with them fear. Fear can quickly enter our minds when we face a grim prognosis or a harrowing situation or when we lie awake in the dark or when our dreams and aspirations lie lifeless in our minds. We do almost everything we can to protect our own lives and the lives of those around us. And this can be a good thing, because life is a gift from God and death is our enemy. But we must also recognize our tendency to focus so much on this life that we miss what is beyond it. In Matthew 16:21-17:23, Jesus overtly talks about His death twice. The first time Peter responds to the possibility of Jesus’s death with rebuke, because thinking of the death of his friend or the death of his kingdom dreams caused him to miss that Jesus also said, “and after three days to be raised.” The second time the disciples were extremely grieved, because they also were too focused on death to hear that Jesus said, “In three days He will be raised.” But this conversation wasn’t so much about Jesus’s death as it was about His resurrection, and He made that obvious to Peter, James, and John when He brought them up on a high mountain and they saw Him transfigured to what He was and would be. The transfiguration was a sort of down-payment on the resurrection. It was proof that the resurrection was sure to happen. Looking back on it, Peter saw himself as an “eyewitness to [Jesus’s] majesty” (2 Pt 1:16). And we need this kind of assurance. We need the story of the resurrection repeated, and we need to see it displayed because we doubt. Too often we are willing to sacrifice our guaranteed life in Christ that is to come for the uncertainty of life in this world or our dreams. Jesus’s death wasn’t the end, and our end won’t be the end either. Of this we can be sure, because we believe Jesus’s resurrection is sure and we have proof of its reality in the Spirit who gives life to our mortal bodies. It’s time for the church to stop “[grieving] as do the rest who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13). It’s time for us to rise and shake off our guilty fears. Jesus lives and so shall I. – Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

AM: Pastor Rory–Matthew 16:21-17:23–The Messiah’s Kingdom Glory (sermon notes)

PM: No Hymn Sing

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