"You are the Christ of God." That was Peter's assessment of who Jesus is. "Christ." "Messiah." "The Anointed One." And with that confession, he was probably ready to take up a sword and follow his leader into battle against the Romans.
The next words out of his Leader's mouth had to have set him back on his heels. Jesus said, "The Son of Man must suffer . . . be rejected . . . be killed." Wait a minute, Jesus. This isn't how the script is supposed to play itself out. The promise was that Messiah would be victorious.
But Jesus wasn't finished. He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Not exactly words to spur on an army into battle.
Or are they? What was needed was reframing. We are soldiers, and we are in battle. But the stakes are not material. And the weapons we fight with are unconventional. And the Kingdom is not to be found on a map. But oh, the spoils of victory! We will see our triumphant King come in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels! And we will enjoy eternal life in the kingdom of God. That is the reward that awaits a cross-bearer. So, reach down and pick it up one more day. And keep your eyes searching the sky for his next triumphal entry.