“When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem,
he took the twelve apostles aside
and said to them privately,
“We’re going to Jerusalem.
There the Son of Man will be betrayed
to the chief priests and the experts in Moses’ Teachings.
They will condemn him to death and hand him over to foreigners.
They will make fun of him, whip him, and crucify him.
But on the third day
he will be brought back to life.”
It is nearly impossible for me to imagine this scene. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem for the last time. He had known for eternity that this earthly moment would come. Now it was here. And the weight of the world rested on His shoulders.
It boggles my mind to imagine how Jesus, in His Divine Perfection…having never experienced sin, was about to experience it for the whole world.
Yet, in the midst of purposefully moving toward Death itself, He pulled His dearest followers aside to clearly spell out what was ahead. Like a mother who is about to go through surgery in order to be well. She pulls her child near and tries her best to prepare him, telling him the primary things she will have to experience, trying to lessen the fears. But the most important point is that, after the surgery, she will be well. All the pain that had led up to this point would be finished. Life will change.
He spoke as if He was talking about someone else. It was a description of what His chosen humanness would experience. . . the humanness He had chosen for the Love of the whole world, including us…now.
Each step…each moment on that final journey walking toward Jerusalem was His choice to give His life, not for His benefit, but for theirs. The love behind each word He spoke to them was moving toward the ultimate act of love that would forever change them, and the future of the whole world. He was specific. The description was solid, without any pull for sympathy. With no regrets. With an intentionality that would change all of eternity.
Did they hear Him? Reading of those last days of Jesus’ human experience, it seems they didn’t. And He would have known that. But He told them anyway. . . out of love.