And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Jesus knew the plan laid out for Him. It was not something to look forward to, but He went toward it willingly. The disciples couldn’t believe they were going to Jerusalem. And the brutality of what was to come that Jesus described probably didn’t make them feel much better. But with God, there is always life at the end. There is always hope when God is involved. Sin brings these evil things. Sin brings horrible suffering. Sin brings all that hurts. And in the end, sin brings death. But God gives life, even in the midst of the worst that sin and evil can do.
After the humiliation, the torture, the degradation, and the killing, the horrible things that were done to Jesus, came the best possible thing. Things meant to defeat Him forever were the very things that propelled forward God’s plan and led to His resurrection, led to salvation, led to much glory and honor for our God who is highly exalted. The fact of life in the midst of death was evident in Jesus’ own experience, and it is evident in our lives, because He endured those things for us. He rose by His power which comes upon us when we believe on Him.
So, too, in our lives, on a much smaller level, we can overcome the horrible things that come our way as a result of life in a sinful world, those things that hurt, those things that make us suffer and bleed. We can rise to victory through Jesus Christ. Things meant to destroy us and defeat us can be used for good and bring Him much glory. And in the end, the eternal life that He died to secure for us will be ours to enjoy forever.
There is hope in any situation when Jesus is involved. What He’d foretold about His own death was horrific, but in the end there would be life. It seemed impossible. In fact, the disciples who’d heard these words didn’t believe it at first when it actually happened. But it’s true that Jesus is alive. It’s true that we have new life in Him. So may we find our hope in our risen Lord and trust in Him as we endure life in this sinful world until He calls us home one day.