12/21 Matthew 20:18-19

18 "See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."

Jesus was about to make His last journey up the Jericho Road to Jerusalem. He knew exactly what awaited Him there. If you are reading this according to the date, you are probably contemplating the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. He knew before He descended to the womb of Mary exactly what He was to face and exactly why. He had come to give His life for the redemption of our souls (Matthew 20:28).

The process would be brutal because the world is fallen and its prince is Satan. Mocking began early on. I imagine there must have been much of it during His childhood. How would your schoolmates have treated the kid that never did anything wrong? Surely it continued later in His teen years when He would not join in conversations about girls. We know it did during His ministry, as the religious elite tried to besmirch Him. But the mocking by the Roman soldiers and from His fellow Jews while on the cross would be especially difficult to endure.

Flogging was called "half-death" for a reason. Crucifixion was the most torturous execution ever invented. At the end of these warnings Jesus added a promise when he said, "and he will be raised on the third day." But they did not understand what He meant. It was with great trepidation that the disciples went up to Jerusalem. Jesus would not be dissuaded. He had come into this world to save mankind. There was only one way it could be done, and He was determined to do it. Oh how He loves you and me!

Consider: Shouldn't I be just as determined to live for Him as He was to die for me?