Part 1 – No one saw it coming
As Christians we believe that Jesus won a massive victory for all humanity when he died on the Cross.
It was the day the dark forces that had been ruling this planet since the time of Adam and Eve were soundly defeated. But, amazingly, none of the Jewish religious leaders saw it coming, nor did their scholars of the Scriptures, nor did the other Jewish leaders, and – most importantly – nor did the dark evil forces. They were ALL caught completely by surprise. Evil’s defeat was done and dusted before anyone realized it had happened.
As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:8, “None of the rulers of this age understood it; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” The powers controlling the world had no idea what they would be unleashing by killing Jesus. But why didn’t the dark forces with all their cunning see it coming? How did they bungle things so badly? Well, that’s God’s genius, because who would have guessed by Jesus dying that evil would be defeated, or that death would bring victory?
On the surface it made no sense at all. It made no sense to the disciples either. When Jesus “began to speak plainly to his disciples” in Matthew 16:21, “that he would suffer at the hands of the Jewish leaders, be killed, and three days later would be raised to life again,” Peter yelled out, “Heaven forbid; this is not going to happen to you.”
Why on earth did Jesus have to DIE? But at this point the reason for Jesus dying was still hidden from the disciples (Luke 9:45), and they were too scared to ask Jesus for further explanation because what he was saying didn’t sound good at all.
But even the prophets who made the predictions about the Messiah dying couldn’t put the two together either. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:10-11, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.”
But it wasn’t meant for the prophets to know, because “they were not serving themselves but you,” verse 12. It wasn’t meant for the “angels who longed to look into these things,” either (verse 12). It was meant for us, and all those since Jesus’ death, as we see in what Jesus did right after his death…(continues tomorrow)