Read Mark 8:27-38
“He then began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.” (Mk. 8:31)
To this point in our current series, we have given much attention to Satan’s demonic plot to destroy Jesus. Starting in His infancy and continuing through His ministry, hatred towards Christ was an evil reality. People became so exasperated that they sought to kill Him. But, whether it was an attempt to be rid of Him through mass infanticide or an attempt to push exclusively Him from a cliff, Jesus miraculously managed to live another day.
But, don’t forget, Christ’s execution was more than a demonic plot. Simultaneously, it was also part of God’s divine plan. In fact, the above verse from today’s reading underscores a “divine must.” Jesus said that the Son of Man must:
- Suffer many things
- Be rejected
- Be killed
- Rise again
This “must” was not one of reluctant surrender to the demonic plot which would overpower or outwit God’s sovereign control. It was not some unfortunate recognition that Jesus could only dodge the bullet so many times. No, the mandatory suffering of which Jesus spoke had been part of the eternal plan of God. Even before the world was called into existence, the Father had planned for the suffering of His Son (1 Pet. 1:17-21). Prophets like Isaiah had predicted His suffering and death with words like these:
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:4-6)
The “divine must” of the cross was essential because of our desperate need.