When I teach on the subject of the cross of Christ, I like to begin by addressing this question: What did Jesus actually say about his own death? I find it unsettling that many Bible teachers and even theologians tend to pass over this very important question and inadvertently treat the words of Jesus as an unimportant part of the equation. Of all the people from whom we could learn about the cross, why wouldn’t we want to first hear what Jesus had to say?
I also like to follow up with this question: How did the apostles, those who were personally trained by Jesus, describe His death? Once, while teaching a Bible School Seminar, I presented this to the students. I must say, it was tough sledding for the first hour because of the things the students had been taught. During the break between sessions, there was quite a buzz as some of the students were discussing the thought provoking challenge that I had set before them.
After the break, I began to take them systematically through the scriptures to show them what Jesus actually said and later to what His apostles actually preached. The students began to catch on and at one point one of them blurted out, “How (or where) did you learn all of this?” They were experiencing a real epiphany as the scriptures began to open to them.
The Bible tells us that there was an exact time when Jesus began to teach his disciples about his crucifixion and resurrection. According to the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly affirmed that he would suffer unjustly from the hands of sinners and that he would rise again on the third day.
In all of the accounts that we have in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, never once does Jesus ever refer to his death on the cross as rejection or condemnation from God to satisfy God’s wrath. He always declared what the scriptures had already prophesied: the Messiah would be rejected and condemned by men.
Again and again, Jesus stated that God would raise Him from the dead contrary to what sinful men would do to him. This view of the cross and resurrection is taught all throughout the New Testament.
Understandably, the apostles of our Lord did not comprehend the meaning of His death before He was crucified, but after His resurrection, Jesus opened their understanding so that they could comprehend the scriptures. Their eyewitness accounts, along with the scriptural insight given to them by Jesus, were empowered on the Day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. As a result, they preached the death and resurrection of Jesus as they understood it from their Master and the One sent by him.
If you would like to learn more, follow the link below.
THE STONE THE BUILDERS REJECTED: https://rootedandgroundedinchrist.com/the-stone-the-builders-rejected/