In this lesson from Mark 10:32-34, we examine the Lord’s prediction of His suffering, death, and resurrection. From this we see several practical applications for our own lives.
Nothing about His crucifixion and death surprised Jesus. It was premeditated, preplanned, and prearranged. Jesus knew from the beginning what would happen to Him and why it would happen to Him. The Lord’s death was prophesied in detailed seven centuries before His birth (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), angels declared this to Joseph (Matt. 1:21) and even Jesus spoke about His own death in detail several times (John 12:27; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 12:50; Luke 13:32-33, 34-35; Luke 17:25; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31.
The reason Jesus was able to make specific and accurate predictions concerning His death is twofold: first, because He knew the Old Testament perfectly, and second, because He possessed perfect divine knowledge as God in the flesh.
What I want to do today is remind you of how great Jesus is, how loving He is really is, and how committed to the mission of saving people like you and me He is. Today, I want to brag on Jesus!
Let’s start with Mark 10:32-34, They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. 33 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” (NLT)
Several things I want you to see about Jesus.
The Commitment of Jesus
Let’s take a look at the commitment of Jesus. Jesus is more dedicated to you than you are. Mark says in verse 32, They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. This illustrates a couple of principles.
- First, that’s exactly where Jesus needs to be, ahead of us, leading the way. He leads, we follow. He is the master, we are the servant. We follow in His footsteps.
- Secondly, it also demonstrates Jesus’ willingness to go to His death. He knew what was going to happen when He arrived at Jerusalem. Jesus was voluntarily giving up His life and embracing the suffering that people like you and I should have endured. Instead, He would be crucified for our sins so that we could be forgiven.
Then Mark tells us, The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear.
- The disciples were filled with awe because Jesus was confidently going back to Jerusalem where there was clear danger and hostility waiting for Him. Mark has skipped a lot of ground in his version of the Lord’s events. At this point the hostility toward Jesus among the religious leaders was reaching an all-time high. The disciples were amazed Jesus was headed into the wolves nest.
- This is why Mark goes on to add, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. They were confused as to why the one they fervently hoped was the Messiah was walking into the deadly danger that faced Him in Jerusalem. They didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but they knew it was going to be bad.
As we will see very clearly, Jesus knew exactly what He was walking in to. He was committed to the mission of saving His people from their sins; to do that, He had to go to Jerusalem.
The Teaching of Jesus
Now, let’s look at the teaching of Jesus. In verse 32, Mark goes on to say, Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him.
Jesus knew that the disciples were going to struggle with everything they were about to see, hear, and feel. They were going to be afraid and confused. However, Jesus wanted to prepare them as much as they could be prepared for what was about to happen. So Jesus does two things.
- He takes the twelve disciples aside. He has a conversation that is specifically for them. This is a private and personal conversation the disciples needed even if they didn’t understand it at first.
- Mark says that Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. They are going to have a difficult time dealing with the Lord’s betrayal, arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death. Had they not been forewarned, the level of doubt, fear, and confusion would have been far greater. But when the horrible events took place, the knowledge that things were unfolding just as Jesus had predicted reassured them that God was in complete control.
The same is true for you. There are going to be times where Jesus is going to pull you aside. He will get your attention through something you read in the Bible, something you heard in a sermon, something you heard on Christian podcast, or God’s wisdom from a conversation you had earlier. When God pulls you aside and speaks to you, He is preparing you for what is to come.
In addition to the Old Testament teaching noted above, Jesus had knowledge of the events surrounding His death that only one who knew the future could possess. That is yet another display of His divine omniscience.[i]
The Suffering of Jesus
This brings us to the suffering of Jesus. Jesus wanted them to be prepared for what they were about to see and hear. Even though they didn’t truly believe it or understand it, they needed to hear that Jesus would go through much suffering in the coming days. There are some truths God wants to expose you to and introduce to you now, even though He knows you will not understand them until later.
Mark gives the details of what Jesus told them beginning in verse 33, “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”[ii]
- Jesus begins by saying, We’re going up to Jerusalem. According to Luke 9:51 Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (NLT). He was determined and committed to go through what only He could endure and must endure for the salvation of His people. Jesus would go “up to Jerusalem” to fulfill all that the Old Testament predicted concerning His death burial, resurrection, and ascension. After His resurrection, He would go back through all the Old Testament prophecies to explain again the predictions with their fulfillment (Luke 24:26-27, 32, 44-47). It was then that His disciples really understood because they had experienced the truth and because “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45, NASB).
Jesus describes Himself as the Son of Man. This is a messianic title (Dan. 7:13-14), emphasizing His incarnation, and is Jesus’ favorite description of Himself, used by Him eighty-one times in the Gospels.
The nature of His suffering as a man may be examined under six headings.
Jesus suffered disloyalty
First, Jesus suffered disloyalty. In verse 33 Jesus said he will be betrayed…. Some translations say, “will be delivered.” That betrayal and delivery will happen at the hand of Judas. Judas will betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and will identify Jesus to his captures with a kiss on the cheek. If anyone has ever betrayed you or been disloyal to you because of your commitment to Christ, you are not alone. Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed.
Jesus suffered rejection
Number two, Jesus suffered rejection. Jesus experienced rejection at different levels and for different reasons. Let me give you some examples.
- He was rejected by the religious leaders. He was rejected by the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. The leading priests included the high priest and all living former high priests, the captain of the temple, who served as an assistant to the high priest, and various other high-ranking priests who oversaw the work of the rank-and-file priests. The teachers of religious law, also known as scribes, were the experts in the Old Testament. Most were Pharisees, but some were Sadducees. These are the people who were supposed to know the Scriptures well and be able to recognize the Messiah when He arrived. However, when the Messiah did arrive they did not recognize the signs and rejected Him.
- He was rejected by the general public. As Jesus stood before Pilate and the crowd of people they yelled out, “Crucify Him!” (Matt. 27:22).
- He was rejected by his own disciples. Even the men closest to Him temporarily abandoned Him. We are told that after Jesus was arrested, “all the disciples left Him and fled” (Matt. 26:56; NASB).
- He was also rejected by God the Father. When Jesus was on the cross He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; cf. Psalm 22:1). This was the most painful for Jesus. Jesus had become sin for you and me. The sin of the world was being placed on Him and as a result Jesus had to pay the ultimate price of God’s rejection. Jesus was rejected by God so that we could be accepted by God. Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness.
Jesus suffered injustice
Number three, Jesus suffered injustice. After a series of illegal, unjust, mock trials, the religious leaders would sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. After another series of trails before the Roman rulers Pilate and Herod, Jesus, despite being repeatedly declared not guilty by them (see Luke 23:4, 14-15, 22; John 18:38; 19:4, 6), would be sentenced to death (Mark 15:15). The holy, just, and righteous Son of God was falsely accused of sin (John 9:24), treason, insurrection (Luke 23:13-14), and blasphemy (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; John 10:33). And His trials were monumental demonstrations of injustice at every point.
Jesus suffered ridicule
Number four, Jesus suffered ridicule. In verse 34 Jesus said they will mock him and spit on him. Jesus who was fully man, but also fully God (Col. 2:9) was mocked and mistreated and spat upon by those holding Him in custody during His trials (Luke 22:63). The ridicule continued even while He was on the cross. Luke tells us “the rulers were sneering at Him saying, ‘He saved others; let him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One’” (Luke 23:35, NASB). The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering His sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” (Luke 23:36-37; NASB). Even one of those crucified alongside Him “was hurling abuse at Him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’” (v.39). The ridicule and abuse that He had faced throughout His ministry (John 9:28; 1 Peter 2:23) intensified at His death.
Jesus suffered physical pain
Number five, Jesus suffered physical pain. In verse 34 Jesus adds that the people will flog him with a whip. Jesus was beaten multiple times while in custody. Shortly before His crucifixion, the Romans would brutally flog him with a whip. This whip had multiple thongs and at the end of each one was broken glass, bone, rock or metal. This allowed the whip to grab hold of the skin and muscle on the back of the person and either rip it open or tear it off. These floggings were so severe that many died from them.
Jesus suffered execution
Number six, Jesus suffered execution. Jesus adds the people would kill him. Jesus would be executed, in the most horribly cruel manner imaginable – crucifixion. Crucifixion involved multiple layers of pain and discomfort. The person being crucified could expect to experience dizziness, cramps, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, public shame, long periods of torment, the unnatural position on the cross made every movement painful, and it was very difficult to breath. Crucifixion was designed to be a slow and agonizing and humiliating way to die.
In prophesying about this event Isaiah 52:14 says, “Just as many were appalled at you — his appearance was so disfigured that he did not look like a man, and his form did not resemble a human being” (CSB).
The suffering of Jesus was great on many levels. He suffered physically, socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. All this demonstrated His committed to the Heavenly Father’s will and His love for you and me.
The Resurrection of Jesus
Finally, this brings us to the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus concludes this summary of what was about to happen to Him by saying, but after three days he will rise again.
Despite all of His suffering and despite all the sinful world could do to Him and despite all the devil could throw at Him Jesus would demonstrate His authority, power, dominance, Lordship, sovereignty and glory when after three days he will rise again.
Every time Jesus predicted His death (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31) He always ended by stating that He would rise three days later. Jesus new exactly what was going to happen and He was committed to see it through. His mission was clear. He said He would die and He said He would rise. He died exactly like how He said He would and He arose from the grave when He said He would.
Let me tell you what this means for you. The resurrection of Jesus reminds me of three very important truths.
- For one, God is more in control than you think . Each one of these statements about the Lord’s suffering, death, and resurrection are fulfilled in detail later in this gospel.
- In Mark 11, Jesus will go up to Jerusalem.
- In Mark 14, He will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes; he will be condemned to death.
- In Mark 15, He will be handed over to the Romans and they will mock Him, spit on Him, whip Him, and kill Him.
- In Mark 16, Jesus will rise again from the dead and from the grave.
Jesus predicted each of these elements, and each of them came to pass exactly as He predicted. How does He know all this? He is God! Only God knows the future – only God could predict these events. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Mark wants to declare to his readers that our Lord’s death was not a tragedy in the hands of evil men, but rather the sovereign plan of God who rules history in order to offer His life a ransom for many. In Acts 2:23, Peter said, “God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed” (NLT). Peter may not have been able to see that truth as it was happening, but it became clear after it was over. God is more in control than you think.
- Also, God knows every detail of your life. Since God is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-loving we can trust Him with our lives. Just as God-the-Father knows every detail regarding the birth, life, death, and resurrection of God-the-Son, He knows every detail about your birth, life, death, and resurrection. Psalm 139 says, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” (vs. 1-6, NLT). God is behind you, with you, and ahead of you. You can live your life in confidence as you follow Him and listen to Him.
- Finally, God is able to keep His promises to you. Every one of the predictions and prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament and from the lips of Jesus in the gospels are all evidence that God is able to keep His promises regardless of how strange they may sound. God’s Word is true. You can read it, study it, love it and bank on it.
Nothing took Jesus by surprise and nothing in your life will take Him by surprise. You and Jesus have got this. Whatever is happening in your life and whatever may occur you can trust the Lord through and follow Him into whatever is ahead, through whatever is ahead and out of whatever is ahead.
[i] Jesus demonstrated his divine omniscience on several occasions. His knowledge of people’s hearts (John 2:24-25; Luke 6:8; 11:17); the precise location of where Peter would find a fish with a coin in its mouth (Matt. 17:27; John 21:5-6; that a woman whom He had met for the first time had had five husbands (John 4:18); where the colt He would ride in the triumphal entry would be located and what its owners would say when the disciples took it (Luke 19:30-34); that the disciples would meet a man carrying a pitcher who would show them the place where they would eat the Last Supper (Luke 22:10); and that Jerusalem would destroyed four decades later (Luke 21:20).
[ii] Luke tells us that Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true” (Luke 18:31, NLT). His death was promised in the Old Testament, not in vague, general terms but very specifically. For example, the sacrificial system, which was initiated (Gen. 3:21) and mandated (Leviticus) by God, of necessity pointed to one final sacrifice, as the writer of Hebrews makes clear (Heb. 9:9; 10:1-3; 10-12). Jesus would probably have mentioned Psalm 22 which graphically describes the details of His death on the cross. No doubt he mentioned Isaiah 53 that speaks of His birth, life, death, resurrection, and glory along with other numerous passages of Scripture.