“The Son of man came . . . to give his soul / life a ransom in exchange for many.” (Mark 10:45).
JESUS knew what to expect. He understood that he would not live his life in peace. On the contrary, he was aware that his life would be tragically cut short while he was still in his 30’s, and he was fully prepared to face his death.
The Bible attaches great importance to the death of Jesus. One reference work says that the death of Jesus is mentioned directly some 175 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, or New Testament.
What Jesus expected
During the last year of his life, Jesus several times warned his disciples about the suffering and death that awaited him. On the way to Jerusalem to observe his final Passover, he told his 12 apostles: “The Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and will deliver him to men of the nations, and they will make fun of him and will spit upon him and scourge him and kill him.” (Mark 10:33-34) Why was he so certain about what would happen to him?
Jesus was familiar with the many prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that foretold how his life would end. (Luke 18:31-33) Consider some of the prophecies along with the Scriptural references that explain how they were fulfilled.
The Messiah would be . . .
- Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.— I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12), Then one of the Twelve–the one called Judas Iscariot–went to the chief priests, From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-16)
- Struck and spit on.— I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6)
- Impaled.— Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16), And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. (Mark 15:24-25).
- Reviled while on the stake.— All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” (Psalm 22:7-8) Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” Matthew 27:39-43)
- Executed without having any of his bones broken.— He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. (Psalm 34:20) But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (John 19:33,36)
Jesus fulfilled these and many other prophecies. There is no way that he could have done this on his own. The fulfillment of all these prophecies in Jesus proves that he was, indeed, sent by God.