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Jesus, walking down the road with His disciples (Matthew 16:13), asks them, “Who do you say I am?” Peter gives a concise, inspired and accurate answer: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” “You are Peter,” Jesus proclaims, “and on this rock”—Peter’s confession—” I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it.”

It was not long after (v. 21), though, that Jesus was explaining to His disciples “that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” when Peter took Him aside to rebuke Him: “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”

Like Peter, we find it easier to distance ourselves from the crucifixion than to acknowledge that it was our sin that sent Jesus to the cross. But, as Jesus would explain to Peter and His disciples after hearing Peter’s rebuke, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me."

Lent gives us the opportunity to relive this baptismal journey, to once again die and be raised with Christ. In the midweek series, “The Sign of Jonah,” we see a prophet of God swallowed up by the sea and but rescued into a new mission. The Lenten lectionary includes similar stories of renewal and new life from throughout the Bible—Noah and the ark, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, the prodigal son.

This season, learn from Peter’s example. Embrace the death of Jesus, that your celebration of His resurrection on Easter and, indeed, every Sunday, might be all the more glorious!

Tom Miles is the Parish Administrator at Saint John’s. You can reach him at the church office Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to Noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm, at 482-5316 or at