The Lord’s Passion Prophecied: Luke 9

And he said unto them, But who say ye that I am?

And Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

But he charged them, and commanded them to tell this to no man; saying,

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

Luke 9:20‭-‬22 ASV

Thus, the Twelve had not been swayed by the savage denunciations of the people’s priestly leaders. The apostle Peter, leading all the rest, firmly acknowledged him as the Christ of God.

Christ’s reason for the charge of secrecy was twofold: (1) the apostles themselves could not at that time have understood the full implications of his Messiahship, and (2) a premature announcement of it could upset the divine timetable for Jesus’ death.

This announcement of the Lord’s Passion was given three times by Matthew, each in a different context, and disclosing, in the aggregate, a score of events and conditions categorically foretold by the Lord.

Jesus repeatedly instructed the Twelve regarding the full details of his Passion and Resurrection.

“The third day be risen up”

Jesus was crucified on Thursday, April 6, A.D. 30, and that he rose on the Sunday following, fulfilling to the letter the divine promise that he would be in the “heart of the earth” three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40).

This is the chronology of that fulfillment:

Buried at sunset (shortly before) on THURSDAY.

In the grave THURSDAY night (one night).

In the grave FRIDAY (the first day).

In the grave FRIDAY NIGHT (second night).

In the grave SATURDAY (second day).

In the grave SATURDAY NIGHT (third night).

Rose from the dead SUNDAY morning (the third day).

The above is spelled out, in order for it to be apparent that “third day” harmonizes completely with Matthew 12:40.

The expression “third day” as frequently used in the Gospels should therefore be viewed as a qualifier of the “three days and three nights” of Matthew 12:40.

Some have insisted that if Jesus actually meant “three days and three nights,” he would have said “FULL three days and three nights”; but this would have required the resurrection to have been at sundown, corresponding to the time he was buried.

It was indeed three full nights; but he rose “the third day.” For dissertation on this subject, see my Commentary on Mark under the heading, “What Day Was Jesus Crucified?” following Mark 15:42.

Passion, in Matthew 16:21 and Matthew 17:22,23, Christ had revealed the following details of his approaching death and resurrection:

Death would be accomplished in Jerusalem.

Scribes would have a part in it.

Chief priests would be involved.

The elders of the people would also be instruments of his death.

He would suffer many things from them.

He would not merely die, but be killed, a far different thing.

He would rise from the dead.

His resurrection would occur on the third day.

He would fall into their hands by being “delivered up,” that is, betrayed.

In the place before us, Christ added the following supplemental details:

He would be condemned to death, indicating a trial by tribunal.
The Gentiles would have a part in it.

Gentiles would mock him.

Gentiles would scourge him.

Gentiles would crucify him.

Thus, no less than 14 pertinent and significant details of the approaching Passion were pinpointed by Christ. In these three prophetic announcements of his Passion, it is plain that every circumstance of those awful events was fully known by the Lord BEFORE it occurred.

It is stated that Jesus took the apostles “apart.” Throughout his ministry, there were numbers of occasions when Christ withdrew from the hustle and bustle of daily work to engage in prayer, meditation, contemplation, and quietness.

It was in such an hour that he gathered strength to approach the cross. Disciples in all ages should not neglect the ministry of the quiet hour in which the soul may take its soundings, the true perspective be ascertained, and in which the resources of the spirit may be replenished at the fountain of prayer and meditation.

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