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9. Jesus’ Third Prediction of His Death and Resurrection
(Matthew 20:17-19)
17Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them,18“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,19and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” (Matthew16:21;17:22-23, Mark10:32-34, Luke18:31-33, John2:13)

Jesus went willingly to the cross to redeem His followers. As the greatest of all the prophets, He knew beforehand about His forthcoming sufferings and bitter death. For the third time, He clearly declared to His disciples all the details with exactness. He told them that the chief priests and the scribes hated Him and His followers. In spite of this, He approached the stronghold of the enemy with His disciples, knowing that He would be betrayed into their hands according to His Father’s will. They would find ways to condemn Him, the Righteous One, to death and accuse the gentle Son of God with blasphemy without seeing that they themselves were the blasphemers. They would become crueler in delivering the Most Holy into the hands of the Gentiles, who were considered unclean, so that the Jews might despise Him and not believe in Him as the promised Messiah. The Gentiles would blindly mock the King of the Jews, scourge Him, and nail Him on the cross of shame. Jesus foresaw all these events and told about them literally that His disciples should not stumble. He gradually prepared them for His bitter end. Yet He also declared to them His glorious resurrection as a trumpet call of triumph over distress and despair.
Jesus loved His followers. He did not flatter them nor hide from them the coming disaster, but told them the truth so that they might not be disturbed nor be afraid when the hour of darkness came. He who thinks of these declarations may wonder why Jesus, with knowledge of these exact and frightful details, did not go to Egypt, Lebanon, or Jordan? Why did He not hide himself? He who understands that Jesus wanted to die for us willingly, observes the necessity of His death, and that there is no salvation but by the crucified One. Jesus intentionally went up with His followers to Jerusalem.

Lord Jesus, we thank You because You decided to suffer, die, and rise again for us. You did this for us, unclean sinners, that we might be cleansed by Your blood, justified by Your atonement, saved from God’s wrath, and be reconciled to the Holy One by Your sacrificial atonement. How can we thank You? Accept our life, time, and money that we may glorify You and the heavenly Father by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Why did Christ not escape when He knew what was waiting for Him in Jerusalem?