There are two main themes I see when Jesus foretold his suffering; disowning self and not being ruled by fear, and that greatness is truly through service.
From that time began Jesus to shew to his disciples that it is necessary for him to go away to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and to be put to death, and the third day to rise. And having taken him aside, Peter began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Be kind to thyself, sir; this shall not be to thee;’ and he having turned, said to Peter, ‘Get thee behind me, adversary! thou art a stumbling-block to me, for thou dost not mind the things of God, but the things of men.’
Then said Jesus to his disciples, ‘If any one doth will to come after me, let him disown himself, and take up his cross, and follow me, for whoever may will to save his life, shall lose it, and whoever may lose his life for my sake shall find it, for what is a man profited if he may gain the whole world, but of his life suffer loss? or what shall a man give as an exchange for his life?’
Jesus taught the disciples that to truly live, they must disown themselves. No wealth on earth will last, and if you hold it too tightly, you will perish with it. We will all die, so there is no point allowing the fear of death to prevent us from truly living. Truly living is loving and serving others.
In the fear of death, your life is already taken, and you will die anyway, so what have you gained? Use your life, even to death, for good, and you are free.
Such fearless goodness in the face of evil, even evil towards you because of goodness, is how the world is overcome.
‘these things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace, in the world ye shall have tribulation, but take courage—I have overcome the world.’
Jesus overcame the world, because he refused to be selfish and live half a life ruled by hurting and fearing his enemies. He refused the world’s standards, and, by the resurrection, he defeated them.
and this is the command we have from Him, that he who is loving God, may also love his brother… for this is the love of God, that His commands we may keep, and His commands are not burdensome; because every one who is begotten of God doth overcome the world, and this is the victory that did overcome the world—our faith;
In faith in Jesus Christ, we too, share in this radical love that overcomes the world.
Jesus prediction of his suffering in Matthew 20:18-19 and Mark 10:33-34, is preceded by him telling them that the first will be last, and the last first, and followed by Zebedee’s wife and sons request,
‘Grant to us that, one on thy right hand and one on thy left, we may sit in thy glory;’ and Jesus said to them, ‘Ye have not known what ye ask; are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized with—to be baptized?’
(The cup he’s about to drink and baptism he’s about to be baptized with, refer to his suffering and crucifixion)
Jesus tells them it’s not his choice, and the others get annoyed with them for asking. So Jesus explains to them,
‘but whoever may will to become great among you, he shall be your minister, and whoever of you may will to become first, he shall be servant of all; for even the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
Good Friday is about being a servant.
On the third day he rose, proclaiming new life, and proving that
The love doth never fail
God bless you.