Lent-Day-01-He Knew

The Final Journey to Jerusalem (L

31 Then He summoned the Twelve, and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and all things that the prophets wrote, concerning the Son of man, will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles, who will mock Him, spitefully entreat Him and spit on Him.  33 They will scourge Him and put Him to death, but, on the third day, He will rise again.”  34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.  (Luke 18:31-34)


Would you like to know when and how you are going to die? Most people wouldn’t, given that it would involve, for many, spending their entire lives counting down my years, months, weeks, and days. It would be too depressing, too distressing, too disturbing. Knowing the day on which I’m going to leave this world is a bit of the future I’m glad the Lord has decided to withhold.”

What about the manner of your death?  Would you like to know HOW you were going to die? If you’re like most person, then probably not.  What if you had a choice on how you would die, but that choice was limited to fire, drowning or being stabbed to death?  What if you knew the death would be slow and painful?

Jesus Christ did.  He knew WHEN He would die and He knew HOW He would die … and yet He willingly went to Jerusalem, knowing He would not return.  Knowing the suffering and death which awaited Him, Jesus still went to Jerusalem to be offered as a sacrifice on our behalf.  The Son of God gave His life to rescue sinful humans from sin, death, and devil.


Would you like to know the time and way you are going to die? My friends, Jesus knew. Unlike the founders of the other great religions of the world, Jesus knew what His future was, what terrible terrors He would endure for the salvation of others. If you take a look at Buddhism, you will find no evidence that Siddhartha, who lived about 500 years before Jesus, knew his future or his fate.  If you look at Islam, you will find that there is no evidence that the prophet Mohammed, who was born over 500 years after Jesus, had any knowledge of when and how he would die.

Not so with Jesus. Immediately after humankind’s fall into sin, God’s promise was made: He would send His Son into this world to give His life as the ransom which would rescue humankind from its kidnappers. Over the centuries other prophets would add to the promise of the heaven-sent Rescuer.

Working under the Holy Spirit’s direction, prophets revealed Jesus would be despised, disrespected, saddled with our sins, sadnesses and sorrows, beaten, wounded and murdered with thieves. (See Isaiah 53:3-9)

Jesus knew more than what the prophets had shared. As God’s omniscient Son, he was aware of all that would befall Him and He knew His final fate.   The Gospels relate many warnings Jesus gave to His disciples, as in what Luke is saying here.  No doubt He did this, at least in part, because He wanted them to be informed and unsurprised when He reached the final days of His earthly ministry. He knew: when things would start to happen, they would happen quickly and there would be no time for Jesus to give them a blow-by-blow explanation of what was going on.

But there is another reason Jesus shared His future fate. He wanted His closest followers to realize that He was not a Pawn in what was about to unfold … He was a willing participant in God’s plan of salvation, as He hinted in John 10:17-18, He was about to “lay down” His life.  No one was taking it from Him; He was doing what He and His Father had agreed He would do.

Would you like to know the time and the way you are going to die? Jesus knew.

  • He knew Jerusalem would welcome Him with cheers that would quickly turn to jeers.
  • He knew the bitter taste of the suffering that awaited Him there; of the uncounted multitudes of sins He would carry there.
  • He knew the devil would find no shortage of hands to arrest Him and nail Him to the cross.
  • He knew false witnesses would speak at His trial and each would try to outdo each other in the lies they told about Him.
  • He knew that hour after hour He would be shuttled from courtroom to courtroom; judge to judge. There would be no one to say, “Enough! This is cruel and inhuman punishment.”
  • He knew that nobody would try to take Him down from the cross and offer Him life imprisonment. Nobody would set Him free years later because He had saved the lives of countless souls. None of that would happen.
  • He knew, as He headed to Jerusalem, that He was going there to die … and to suffer before.


And here is the amazing part: to die for you is one of the reasons Jesus was born.

Dying is not the reason you were born.

But Jesus was born to die.

Jesus knew that after He had fulfilled all the laws we have broken … resisted all the temptations to which we have succumbed … it would be His job to carry our sins and give up His life as a Ransom for us all. He would sacrifice Himself so we might live as forgiven and redeemed children.

He knew that every moment of His life. What a weight to carry. What a burden for Him to carry.

Would you like to know WHEN and HOW you are going to die? Jesus knew and, in spite of knowing, He still went to Jerusalem; He went to Jerusalem for you; so your life might be changed.

Every one of those funerals has been marked by grief … But some have had that grief intensified by an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness … with despondent families who looked to stuff and not the Savior for satisfying their souls’ longings. Without a knowledge of their Savior to hold to there was no future to look to. Quite often their grief could find an outlet only in anger and frustration with one another … But I have stood at gravesides where the tears were tinted with hope.  Yes, friends and family had wept … But a light was shining in their darkness. They confidently talked of a future reunion. They spoke of grace and love experienced and shared. They could look through the grief of the moment to a greater day yet to come. This they could do because they knew that Jesus had died for them. They loved their Savior because they believed that He, knowing all which would happen to Him, willingly went to Jerusalem and gave His life so their day of grief might be changed.

And why would their mourning be changed? It is because among the many fearful things Jesus told His disciples that day, there was a bit of good news. This is what He said, “(in Jerusalem) they will mock Me and spit on Me, and flog Me and kill Me. And after three days I will rise from the dead.”

Coming from anyone else the claim would have been preposterous. Who do you know who could make such a claim? The answer is simple: only the Son of God could say such a thing.  After that His body was taken down and given a hurried burial in a borrowed tomb, those who had heard His words either dismissed or forgot His promises about what would happen.  They knew people do not rise from the dead.

But Jesus knew.  He had conquered sin by His death … three days later, He defeated death, by His resurrection.   Jesus had died for us and now He lives for us. That is the truth which changes the way Christians look upon such things … It is the truth that gives us a peace that passes all understanding … because we know that Jesus died and rose for us.

The question, my friend, is: do you know? Do you have a Savior Who knowingly, willingly, suffered so that you might be saved? Do you have a Savior who can let you live with confidence and die in peace? I pray you do. And if you don’t, you should know that you do.


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