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God’s Word for You

Mark 10:32-34 Seven Holy Predictions

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

32 They were on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking ahead of them, the disciples were astonished, and those who followed were afraid.

During his ministry, Jesus had only gone to Jerusalem for the Passover once before, just after the wedding at Cana (John 2:13). He had been staying in Perea across the Jordan for some time, working from a village known as Ephraim or Ophrah (John 11:54). Now he and the disciples joined with groups of pilgrims crossing the deep Jordan valley to go up to Jerusalem for the Passover. The Greek verb tenses tell us three things about the trip:

  1. Jesus was walking ahead the whole time.
  2. His disciples were astonished the whole time.
  3. The other followers were afraid the whole time.

The followers like the women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and the others) were afraid because of what Jesus had said would happen to him. His disciples were astonished by the Lord’s words, predictions, and actions. But what may have astonished and frightened them even more was Jesus’ determination as he took long, energetic strides, closing the miles between himself and his beloved city while the others hurried to keep up with him.

So he took the Twelve aside and told them what was about to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him. After three days he will rise.”

At one of their stops, Jesus took the Twelve aside and repeated what he had already told them. This prophecy of his suffering and death is the most complete of any he had given (the scene is also recorded in Luke 18:31-33). Let’s look at the seven parts of this prophecy.

1, The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes. Judas Iscariot did this on either Tuesday or Wednesday of Holy Week (Mark 14:10-11). O Judas! Did you rub your hands together in your greed, thinking that Jesus would escape their grasp as he had done before (Luke 4:30) and you would get paid to make them look foolish? Who is the fool who betrays his God? “A fool exposes his folly” (Proverbs 13:16). Judas, your sins condemn you.

2, They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles. They condemned him in a trial of the Sanhedrin before Caiaphas, where “they all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark 14:64). Then they bound Jesus and handed him over to Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:1). O Caiaphas! Did you sneer to see Jesus taken away, secretly fearing and hating him because the people loved him and not you? “Can he who hates justice govern? Will you condemn the just and the Mighty One?” (Job 34:17). Caiaphas, your sins condemn you.

3, They will mock him. The Romans mocked Jesus (Mark 15:20), but so did Herod and his guards (Luke 23:11). O Herod, King of the Jews, did you insult the King of Kings when you should have fallen at his feet to beg his forgiveness? “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads” (Psalm 22:7). Herod, your sins condemn you.

4, They will spit on him. The great men of the Jewish Sanhedrin spit on Jesus (Mark 14:65), mocking him and striking him with their fists. They beat up the Lord God himself in the city that sits on Mount Moriah, the mountain where God provided a substitute for Abraham’s son as a sacrifice. Here is where Abraham said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14). O Sanhedrin, O sons of Abraham, your sins condemn you, even while the Lord provides a substitute for the sins of the world on this mountain.

5, They will flog him. Pilate had Jesus flogged while he released Barabbas to the screaming crowd (Mark 15:15). Pilate had declared him innocent of any crime three times. Jesus acknowledged that he himself was a king, and Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 18:38). After the Lord was flogged and the crown of thorns was twisted around his head, Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 19:4). And then when he put the bleeding Savior on display with his thorny crown and purple robe and the Jews shouted “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 19:6). O Pilate! You turned away from the Way offered to you, ignoring even your own wife’s warning (Matthew 27:19). You turned away from the Truth, saying “What is truth?” (John 18:38). And you handed over the Life of the world to be put to death, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Pilate, your sins condemn you.

6, They will kill him. The Roman soldiers nailed him to a cross and stood guard for six hours, from the third hour (Mark 15:25) to the ninth (Mark 15:34). But even as they pounded the nails, they heard him say, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). They divided his clothes between the four of them (John 19:23), and they gave him a bitter, miserable drink when he was thirsty (Mark 15:36), and some of the soldiers even mocked him as he died (Luke 23:36). But their Centurion was not like any of the Jews or the others who mocked Jesus. Their Centurion said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39). O Soldier! Did you, a Gentile, heed the call of your Lord and your God even as his life was spent? When the Jews from the north, south and east turned away, did you hear his loud cry and come trembling from the west (Hosea 11:10)? Your sins, O believing Gentiles, are forgiven.

7, After three days he will rise. The Jews counted the day of his burial as the first day. That was the day Joseph of Arimathea laid the Lord’s body in his own tomb with Pilate’s permission (Mark 15:45-46). Saturday, the Sabbath, was the second day, and the women obeyed the Sabbath and did no work. But when the Sabbath was over (Mark 16:1) on the third day, they found Jesus’ tomb to be empty and the stone rolled away (Mark 16:4-5). And an angel announced the good news: “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6).

The prophet said, “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us” (Hosea 6:2). Just as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, like the first living things in God’s creation rising up on the third day (Genesis 1:12-13), so also he will raise us up, as he has promised. O believing children of God, everyone who puts your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, his blood has covered all of your guilt. You are forgiven, forever blessed.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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