Read Matt 16:13–28
Matt 16:15-21 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (16) Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (17) And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (18) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (20) Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (21) From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
People have all sorts of opinions on who Jesus is and what he taught. Most of it is wrong and comes from sources not from the Bible. Some people twist things from the Bible to fit their own presuppositions. Just who is Jesus? Peter confesses, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Christ, he is the anointed one of God. He is our Prophet, Priest and King given to us to save us, redeem us and ransom us from sin, death and the power of the devil.
Peter tells us Jesus is “the Son of the living God.” Being the son of God Jesus is also God. Jesus tells us elsewhere he and the Father are one.
We can only confess this ourselves if it is revealed to us from the Father, just like Peter. Jesus also tells us elsewhere, John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” All of us are alike, the Father reveals Christ to you and He uses the preaching of good news and the sacraments to give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us faith in the good news.
And just what is that good news? Verse twenty-one tells us, the Christ must suffer, be killed and on the third day be raised. Why how is that good news? St. Paul reminds us, 1Co 15:3-4 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,…” His death was our punishment for our sins. His resurrection is stamp that our sins are forgiven us and that Death has been conquered. For where sins are forgiven there is no penalty for sins, i.e. death. So Jesus died and atoned for your sins. While we may still experience temporal punishments for our wrongdoings, i.e. strife, civil and criminal penalties and even physical death, we have been given by this forgiveness eternal life now and the promise of a resurrection of the body just like Jesus at his return. Not only does Peter receive authority to forgive sins, but so does the Church (Matt 18:18) and all who are place in the office of the ministry (John 20:23ff) so that we may receive this good news all the time and be filled with the Holy Spirit and know God and Jesus.
Lord Jesus Christ, ever grant us to hear the forgiveness of our sins won for us by Jesus’ death and resurrection and give us the Spirit that we might believe it. Amen.