Jesus Foretells His Betrayal and Crucifixion

Matthew 20:17-19

It was about 3 years since Jesus first chose his 12 disciples.  These apostles had seen so many miracles! They had learned so many things about the Kingdom of God!  Now it was time to go to Jerusalem again and participate in the feast of the passover.

Since Jesus knew he was traveling to Jerusalem for the last time, he took his Twelve aside and spoke to them.  He told them in what seems to be the plainest way he could, what was going to happen. What they heard was so difficult to believe, that they may not have completely understood the meaning of his words until later.

Christ Teaching His Disciples by Justin Kunz

Jesus told them that someone would betray him and turn him over to the chief priests and scribes who would determine to kill Jesus.  Jesus said they would deliver him to “the Gentiles” (who would have been the Roman rulers) who would make fun of him, whip him, and kill him by crucifixion.  The disciples knew about crucifixion; the Romans would sometimes crucify the worst criminals by tying or nailing them to a wooden post or cross until they died.

Jesus told them that he would rise again the third day.

All of this must have seemed unbelievable to the twelve apostles.  How could their Lord be betrayed, whipped, and killed? And what does “rise the third day mean?”  

We now know the wonderful, happy ending of this terribly difficult time, about how Jesus is alive today and sits on the right of our Father in Heaven, but the Twelve would have to wait a little more than a week for answers to these difficult, troubling questions.

What do you think?

  • Why did Jesus tell the 12 apostles what was going to happen?
  • If Jesus knew he was going to be killed in Jerusalem, why did he continue his journey there?
  • Why wouldn’t the 12 apostles fully understand everything Jesus said to them?
  • Do you think this may have helped the disciples get through the hard times that were ahead of them?
  • Are you sad to hear that Jesus would be killed?  Does it help to know he lives today?

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