Reading: Isaiah 53:8-12, Malachi 3:1-4, Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:17-9, Mark 10:32-34
Content: For a second day Jesus was back to the Temple and teaching. The people were still drawn to his wisdom and to His authority – his enemies still seething, already scheming for some way to kill Him. But here is where we can see just how far ahead of them Jesus truly was. Did you know that before He ever arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus had predicted His own death on 3 separate occasions? In the days leading up to the Passover, Jesus had indeed predicted His own death to his disciples. Matthews gospel records a timeline and the sequence of the 3 early predictions.
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.’ And the disciples were filled with grief.”
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”
Mark’s gospel gives us a very direct and even more vivid recollection of the 3rd and final prediction of death by Jesus.
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
The disciples are saddened, frightened, angry, confused – a mixed reaction to what Jesus is saying about His future. Matthew even tells of a very awkward and intense confrontation with Peter moments after Jesus has confided in them concerning his immanent death. Jesus, recognizing the character weakness in Peter to face adversity and opposition does not go lightly on him with His response.
We see the disciples becoming completely uncomfortable with how Jesus candidly tells them in detail of His arrest, torture and death. Why is He talking like this? Is this another parable? A morbid metaphor? What does this mean for me? Should we be concerned – or is this another spiritual test? Whatever their perception or thoughts – what He told them did not correctly connect. They heard everything except for what they were supposed to listen to. This is a frustrating process that still occurs today… we often hear, but we do not listen. Hearing and listening are two different realities. In telling His disciples of what was to come for Himself, Jesus was allowing them to see ahead – to be ready, to be out front of what was coming their way, they missed it. So, when Tuesday of Passover did come, instead of trusting and having the peace and assurance needed, they began to doubt and question, becoming anxious and overwhelmed with the circumstances around them. Days earlier, Jesus had given them the words they would need to be ready… they will kill me – but I will rise. They missed it.
Meditation: There is a lot here to process. But it is important that we do not miss what the Holy Spirit is saying, more importantly what the Spirit is giving to us. Many times, God tells us what is coming. Many times, the Holy Spirit gives us insight and wisdom to what is headed our way. We can hear Him and still miss it. However, listen to His voice and trust in the Lord, we can be ready for whatever comes our way – tomorrow will not overtake us. Have you taken time today to listen to what the Spirit is saying?
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