Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them that it is necessary that the Son of man suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Options… Suggestions… Necessary. There is not much in this life that is necessary, even the biblical short list "having food and raiment, let us therewith be content." – does not include some of the things which we take for granted, partly because they are necessary – this is why when Luther was explaining what is meant by daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer, he begins with the phrase "everything that is has to do with the support of this body and life" which would include such things as light and air.
One may question why something is necessary – not necessarily challenging its necessity, but seeking to understand, WHY? But if God says it is necessary, that pretty much settles things, as to whether it should be done. And that is precisely the problem – Peter on hearing Jesus say that is was necessary that he suffer and die – wanted to argue the point. WHY? We are not told, on the one hand it could be that he wanted Jesus with him always – and on the other hand, it could be that the reason why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer and die, was more than Peter could bear.
Here’s what I mean – Jesus dying for the sins of the world is often abstract, words that may not touch us personally. Jesus dying for my sins, unless I repent – that is am sorry for what I’ve done, and honestly desire to change – then Jesus dying for my sins, doesn’t make me feel better, it only makes me feel worse – and that is why sometimes the gospel does not seem like good news – that is why sometimes hearing about Jesus suffering and death only adds to my burden, and makes me feel more guilty – well, more guilty – but not so guilty that I want to change my ways – but guilty enough that I don’t really want to hear about it.
Its fine if Jesus want to die for some one else – its fine that they should feel guilty – but I don’t want to feel uncomfortable. So talk to me about how God is love, but not about the cross, suffering and death. Talk to me about God’s promises, especially if he dies everything and I do nothing – I like that part – don’t call me to repent – lets just leave things as they are – I can be comfortable with that.
And that is the problem, because people are becoming very comfortable with the world, the flesh and the devil – they are becoming comfortable in sin. And the problem is that all these things will end – we will die, and this world, however old it is, is passing away. If there is no repentance, then, there will be no forgiveness – and with no forgiveness we will have to pay ourselves the price for our own sins.
That is why we talk about Jesus suffering and death – on the one hand it might move some to repent – on the other hand, for those who have repented, it is the good news that God has paid the price for their forgiveness and eternal life. That is why it is necessary.