"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem"
And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem;
And Jesus going up to Jerusalem
Jerusalem is one of the most important cities of the people of Israel, the Jews, because there is the holy temple, built by the son of David, the king-shepherd. Solomon built it. And the Jews go there to offer sacrifices, especially during the time of Passover. Jesus has also witnessed how the unblemished lamb was sacrificed for the sins of people. They even offer various other sacrifices.
This time Jesus is going there, not to partake in the Passover festival. He himself is going as a lamb to be offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the mankind.
Imagine His mind at this time as He was walking towards Jerusalem. A Man walking along with His companions to embrace death. Who would desire? Most people would try to run away, but Jesus, as it was a plan of God, was willing to take that up. He loved us so dear, as dear as this much.
took the twelve disciples apart in the way,
Most often He was walking, so that He can meet people, preach to them, heal them when there is necessity, warn them about the coming of the events. And while He was going this time, He took them apart;
and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem;
They know that they are going to Jerusalem, and they also must have heard that they were planning to arrest Jesus this Passover. They didn’t even like that Jesus go to Jerusalem this time. But He went because that was the plan of God.
The Son of man shall be betrayed
That is the most difficult part in life: people betraying. For those very people He came to give salvation, freedom from eternal death, but they betrayed.
unto the chief priests and unto the scribes,
These categories of people, who thought that they were the final authority of religion. Jesus’ teaching literally challenged their authority, because Jesus wasn’t promoting their way of following God. He was asking people to call God straight “Abba.” He wasn’t advocating the kinds of sacrifice they were doing business with. And that is why they wanted Him by all means to be away from the scene, because it involves their position, their authority and survival.
and they shall condemn him to death,
Imagine, the One who came to give life. The very people are condemning Him to death.
and shall deliver him to the Gentiles
The Jews shouldn’t have done this. Yet, they did it. Handed Him over to the gentiles. They were not so found of Romans, because Romans were colonizing their cities, but they quoted the taxpaying episode and exaggerated and put a lot of lies, and manipulated, had people to shout against Jesus. That is how they did it.
Mockery is one of the painful things, especially for a person of Jesus. He was God. He was there when creation was there. But He came down to their level, so that He can communicate to them, and teach them about the Kingdom of God, the God whom His heart was worshipping.
and to scourge,
using a severe whip. Those time, those were the severest punishment. They say that even the whip is flogged against the human flesh, when they remove, flesh will come out of the body.
and to crucify him:
asking Him to carry the very wood on which they crucify. Remove His dress and shame Him to the maximum, and nail Him to death. And all these things Jesus knew they were going to happen. Yet, He dare, because He loved them to the last. But the next sentence He said was remarkable.
and the third day he shall rise again.
Yes, death cannot hold Jesus more than three days. The reflection today, is for you and I. We may not be going through death exactly, but some of our situation is almost equal to death—lost all hope, there is no way you can revive, there is no way you can come back, there is no way you can raise back, there is no way you can being again.
Don’t worry. You believe in a God who raised Himself from death. He can raise you whatever has happened to you, whatever situation you are in.
It might look that it’s gone, almost gone, nothing is leftover.
No. Christ who rose again will rise you again. He alone can do that. Hold on to Him. Believe Him, Trust Him. His Spirit, who rose Jesus, will raise you from whatever situation you are in, right now.
Abba, Thank You for this message you are giving us today—to people who are going through extreme situations of pain, discouragement, sickness, failure, depression. Thank You for Your Son. We worship Him, adore Him, along with You and the Spirit, for loving us this much. Let Your Spirit give us hope. As He rose again, despite our situation, with the support and guidance of Your Spirit, may we also rise up again, and be witnesses to the Resurrected Christ, live as the disciples of the Risen Christ. In Jesus’ Most Powerful Name, Amen.