They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” Mark 10:32-34
Just before the Triumphal entry we find Jesus heading up to Jerusalem and already he is leading the way for his people. The disciples are astonished; the followers afraid. Why go to Jerusalem and all the dangers that wait in that city of religion now dead?! But that is exactly where Jesus is headed.
Jesus is leading the way. Not just to a city that holds potential dangers. He is leading the way in obedience. Leading the way in trust to the Father. Leading the way to Life. And just so no one misses the reality of where they are going Jesus makes it clear. He knows what waits for him.
He will be arrested. Condemned. Handed over. Mocked, spit on, flogged. And killed.
He also knows what waits for us. The last statement in his explanation is the greatest news we could ever be given. “Three days later he will rise.” Jesus is leading the way to life again. Life like it hasn’t been known since fruit was eaten in secret and nakedness discovered. Life like hasn’t been enjoyed since hiding became the response to a God coming near. Life like only two humans before ever knew. Life back from the dead. Life back from the beginning.
And Jesus is leading the way. He is bringing his people to this Life as he brings himself to the cross.
The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:2-3
The cross is coming. This is Tuesday—it will be here Friday with all its death and defeat and oppression. And Jesus leads the way, willingly, for us.
And three days later he will rise.