“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” (Matthew 20:18-19)
The account goes on to state, “The disciples did not understand any of this” (Luke 18:34). That must have been a very difficult time for the disciples. Their best friend was talking about his coming death. No one wants to hear their friend speak in such a way. And that is probably all they really heard. The part about rising from the dead went right over their heads. We would probably have a few follow up questions, and maybe they did, but from the context we have they were really in the dark and puzzled as to where Jesus was going.
We all come to a point in life where we find the claims of Jesus puzzling. We have a hard time making sense of them. It is a well-written story and we enjoy it but there is more to it than that. We are not just reading some words of an author that entertain. These are the Words of God. When these Words are read, they accomplish something. The first thing they accomplish is a trust in this Jesus, even before understanding all the details about Him. The Holy Spirit does His work of bringing us to a faith in this Jesus and a new reason for living. The puzzle all comes together and we see Jesus.
Heavenly Father, no matter how long it takes, bring the puzzle of Jesus together for us. Bring to us the saving faith He offers. Bring us to trust Him with our life and eternity. Bring us to take that step, from darkness into the Light of Christ.
In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.