Well, well, well, Peter, last week, was the shining star, the fair haired kid, the rock, this week…not so much. Just when he must have been feeling good, given the keys of the kingdom, in today’s Gospel he is called a Satan, by Jesus himself. It doesn’t get any worse than that! It seems as though, no matter who you are, even the Rock, don’t get too cocky, because even the Keeper of the Keys can get it wrong and be dressed down by Jesus.
Peter makes a fundamental error in his assessment of Jesus’ purpose and mission on earth. He assumes that Jesus is all about setting things right, assuming his proper place in glory and bring salvation to the world. In other words “Make Israel Great Again.” ;-). His mistake is, to believe it is all going to be glory, fun and popularity with very little pain suffering or even any inconveniences. He likes the idea of the Resurrection, but recoils at the idea of Good Friday. You see, Peter likes the idea of getting to the empty tomb, but would rather avoid the horror of Jerusalem.
Of course, Jesus wastes no time in making Peter fully aware of how wrong he is, and further, how not accepting Jesus’ whole mission, for better or worse, he is in the way, a barrier, and an evil distraction. Jesus makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that in order to get to the empty tomb, you must go THROUGH Jerusalem.
Jesus’ Resurrection means nothing without the passion of Good Friday. That, is a fundamental Christian belief. No Easter Sunday without Good Friday. We, as Christians love the Resurrection part, but loath the Good Friday part. It should give us comfort though, believing that no matter what our Good Friday is in life, there is always the promise of Easter Sunday.
Be careful however, stay humble. No one likes to feel the wrath of Jesus. Just ask Peter. 😉