Intro: Sometimes we gravitate to the Scriptures that portray Jesus the way we want to see him. We love hearing about Christ’s many miracles, “Hallelujah!”… Christ’s affirming acts of kindness to the oppressed, “Glory be to God!”…and we celebrate the power of Christ to take down evil, “Yes and Amen!” Yet, many times we neglect to focus on the Messiah and the truths of his suffering for righteousness that is revealed in Scripture. Truthfully, as disciples of Christ, we would like to pass right on by the Scriptures that speak about our need to deny self, pick up our cross of shame to walk into wholeness, or faithfully endure suffering [mistreatment] for the advancement of the gospel.
In our passage today, Jesus takes his disciples aside for the purpose of helping them spiritually see the things that must take place; the suffering that is forthcoming. Therefore, Jesus reminds them of everything the prophetic Scriptures have said about him—a portion of the truth they had not understood, but will understand as each one is fulfilled.
Some of the prophetic predictions are a bit concealed in the Old Testament, but speak about the unfolding mission of Messiah:
Betrayal “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9)
Crucifixion “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing” (Psalm 22:16-18). “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:4-7).
Resurrection: “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:10-11).
Humanity’s sin against God is responsible for Christ’s suffering and although that may be hard to hear, it is the truth nonetheless.
Luke 18:31-34 NLT Jesus Again Predicts His Death
31 Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. 32 He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. 33 They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”
34 But they didn’t understand any of this. The significance of his words was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what he was talking about.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin against you. I rejoice knowing resurrection follows suffering. In Jesus’ name. Amen.