Momentous is the scene. It captures the rest of Matthew’s narrative in miniature. Peter has just confessed Jesus as the divine Christ. In the immediate wake of the divine disclosure of Christ’s person, Christ reveals His plan. His church and cross are tightly linked. The cross will cast a vast shadow, but its shame sharply ends at the brilliance of heavenly glory. Here we look more closely at this ominous mystery once concealed now revealed. It is Christ’s first direct prediction of His crucifixion and resurrection. It occasions an opportunity for Him to remind and urge His disciples to follow Him. True discipleship goes the way not of man but of God. And God’s ways are sometimes paradoxical to us. In the economy of God’s gospel, losing equals gaining when it is from and for Christ. To be sure, God’s ways lead to glory. But service and suffering will mark their path. Peter’s misconception prompts a marvelous lesson: the cross must come before the crown.