Matthew 20:17-19 says, “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”

As is obvious from the wording, this will be the Lord’s last visit to Jerusalem for there He will die. As they travel towards Jerusalem, the Lord gathers His 12 disciples and reveals to them what is about to happen. This is certainly not the first time the Lord had spoke of His impending betrayal and death to His disciples. We read back in Matthew 16:21, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” We also read in Matthew 17:22-23, “And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.” This was so hard for the disciples to grasp. When reading of this same event in Mark, we read in Mark 9:32, “But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.”

In Matthew 20:18-19, with His death drawing very near, the Lord once again tells His disciples what is going to happen in Jerusalem. While, at this time, He had not told His disciples who would betray Him, we later read in Matthew 26:20-21, “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” We then read in verse 25, “Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.” The pretender had now been exposed. It was Judas who would betray the Lord into the hands of the chief priests and scribes…the religious leaders!

We read of Judas’ betrayal in Matthew 26:47-50, “And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.”

Matthew 26:57-68 tells us of the chief priests and scribes condemning the Lord. We read in verses 66-67, “What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands.” How sad that the very ones the Lord came to save were condemning Him to death. The Lord Jesus spoke in a parable about this event. That parable is found in Luke 19:12-27. We read of the attitude of the people in verse 14, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS MAN TO REIGN OVER US.”

Now let’s read Matthew 27:1-2, “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” Here the Lord was turned over to Pilate, the Roman governor. There, He was:

MOCKED – Luke 22:63, “And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.”

SCOURGED – John 19:1, “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.”

CRUCIFIED – Mark 15:25, “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.”

But, praise God, the story does not end here. The Lord Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 20:19, “…the third day he shall rise again.” Romans 4:25 tells us, “(Christ) was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins and was raised again the third day for our justification. Do you know Christ as your savior? Have you put your faith in Him and His finished work on the cross? Romans 10:9 states, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (335.2)