For the twelve men who left homes, families and livelihood to follow Jesus
– His words produced a growing sense of dread. Jesus finally used plain language to describe what imminently lay ahead:
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he said to them: “We are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be betrayed…They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to be mocked and flogged and crucified” (Matthew 20:17-19).
Some of the twelve had dreamed of a political revolution to overthrow the hated oppressors. Perhaps a few saw a return to true religion while still others hoped Jesus’ healing miracles predicted a society free of debilitating disease.
But then Jesus plainly described His plan of far greater scope, the perfect plan to cure man’s hatred to man, to replace false piety with true religion. His solution would provide the way of salvation, a way to cross the abyss of sin between men and women and God.
– This plan demanded a perfect sacrifice and Jesus loves His followers and all of us to such a degree that He is willing to become that sacrifice. The news sounds bad! In fact, it sounds like the death of all dreams! But it is, in reality, the best news ever! The Son of Man is come to seek and to save what was lost.
Thank the Lord Jesus for providing eternal life by His death on the cross. By trusting in Him we can experience that life, not just in the future, but right now!
Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes! How would you have responded to Jesus’ words? Talk with a friend about what Jesus’ suffering and death mean to you.