At this point, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem with his disciples and others who are following. Once again, Jesus predicts his arrest, inquisition, death and resurrection. Once again, the disciples are left scratching their heads trying to understand this consistent message from Jesus.
Two phrases caught my attention this morning: 1) Jesus took his disciples aside and 2) he will be raised to life!
To the disciples Jesus was the Messiah, but he was also a man, someone they were doing life with by all indications. They ate, slept, walked, talked, I suspect they laughed, cried and generally just got along as an incredible band of brothers. In all three Synoptic accounts Jesus takes time to address them as his inner circle:
he took the Twelve aside
It’s difficult to wrap my mind around the scene, but here is Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior, the Messiah, huddling with his disciples to go over the play one more time, ‘Okay guys, here’s how this is going to happen…’ The humanity exhibited here is at least a reminder for us to be humble, not to think too much of ourselves. I just love the way he cares for his disciples.
The second phrase is probably the most important concept that defines Christianity:
he will be raised to life!
Jesus isn’t talking about a mythical figure, he is referring to himself, to an event that has no precedent. The disciples don’t really understand what’s happening, but I’m sure they are listening intently. Perhaps they just hear the words and conclude something like: bad stuff is going to happen, no surprise because the Pharisees seem bent on trapping Jesus, then it will get better. There was no way they could process what was going to happen. No way to understand the grief they would feel when they watch the soldiers nail him to the cross. Impossible to appreciate the agony of physical torture that was all too real.
Looking back on these times when Jesus predicted his death and resurrection they record these words for us to show it is hard to understand and appreciate, but it is real. When we talk to pre-Christians we need to understand our message might seem simple, but it is difficult to understand, even impossible without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Our role is to build relationships and to consistently show the love of Christ. It helps to appreciate this was something that those closest to Jesus didn’t really understand. The beauty of having the Bible to read and think about.