“Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Matthew 20:18–19
The road from Jericho to Jerusalem was just fourteen miles. A half-day’s journey. Jesus is at the front of his band of disciples. A young soldier marching into battle.
As Jesus states his mission, forget any suggestion that he was trapped and made a miscalculation. Ignore any speculation that the cross was a last-ditch attempt to salvage a dying mission.
These words tell us that Jesus died . . . on purpose. No surprise. No hesitation. No faltering.
The way Jesus marched to his death leaves no doubt: he had come to earth for this moment. The journey to the cross had begun long before leaving Jericho. As the echo of the crunching of the fruit was still sounding in the Garden of Eden, Jesus was leaving for Calvary.
Jesus stepped toward Jerusalem with the promise of God in his heart. The divinity of Christ assured the humanity of Christ, and Jesus spoke loud enough for the pits of hell to vibrate: “And the third day He will rise again.”
Is there a Jerusalem in your horizon? Are you on a brief journey from painful encounters? Are you only steps away from the walls of your own heartache?
Learn a lesson from your master. The next time you find yourself on a Jericho road marching toward Jerusalem, put the promises of God on your lips. When the blackness of oppression settles around you, draw courage from the Word of God. ’Tis wise to march into Jerusalem with the promise of God in your heart.
Max Lucado – The Road to Jerusalem