Fearless Prophet

For the third time, Jesus predicts His coming suffering, death, and resurrection. Why this apparent repetition? He must have wanted to prepare His disciples for what was going to happen, lest they lose heart (see John 16:1). By telling them ahead of time, He showed not only that He was a prophet, but that His passion would be followed, and overcome, by victorious resurrection. By comparing the three predictions, we can see that Jesus added further details each time, and in this last one, He outlined precisely what would happen:

  • Betrayal by Judas into the hands of the Jewish leaders (26:14-16, 47-50)
  • Condemnation to death for blasphemy (26:63-66)
  • Handing over to the Roman governor, who alone could inflict the death penalty (27:1-2)
  • Mockery by the Roman soldiers (27:27-31)
  • Cruel scourging, so horrible that it often produced death (27:26)
  • The agonizing torture of crucifixion, a Roman style of execution that fulfilled the Mosaic Law (27:35; Deuteronomy 21:23)
  • Resurrection on the third day (Matthew 28:1-15).

Let us pause for a moment to ponder these prophecies. Do they not display for us the matchless courage of Jesus, who, knowing what would happen, could surely have escaped? What about His love for lost sinners, for whom He came to “give His life [as] a ransom for many (20:28)? Perhaps most moving of all, these minute descriptions of what He would soon endure manifest His absolute submission to the will of the Father (26:39, 42). Even though He knew He would rise again, Jesus’ fearless forecast of the rejection, pain, public disgrace, torture, and temporary abandonment by God Himself reveal to us the sublime moral excellence and unique glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. “O come, let us adore Him!”