This account is in all four gospels. Jesus told his disciples about this more than once. At certain points he added detail to help them understand. He never spoke in a manner in which his words had no meaning. We use unnecessary words, but Jesus didn’t mince words. He took the disciples and spoke to them.
Luke 18: 31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
Jesus had told them before that he had to go to Jerusalem. He detailed his mission, his very reason for being here. It was necessary. Whether people know it or not, they needed Jesus to come. Regardless of how we feel about it, we need a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only one who can fulfill the role of Savior for a person’s soul. He was willing to come here in spite of knowing how he would be treated. He never gave up on his mission, on us, or on mankind as a whole. There is someone who has not given up on you. He suffered on Calvary, the place you and I should have been. He was nailed when we should have been nailed. He didn’t do it for himself; it was for us. The penalty we should have borne was born by Jesus. What a friend we have in Jesus!
He taught about people trying to get to heaven on their own. He said it was hard for those who trust in their riches to get to heaven. The disciples asked who could be saved. Jesus told them that with God all things are possible. We can’t get to heaven by ourselves. That’s why Jesus came. The Son of God became one of us, and as the perfect Son of God he presented himself in our place and took our sin and judgment to death. By believing and trusting in him and calling on his name, we can be saved.
Jesus said behold, we go up to Jerusalem. He alone was qualified to be Savior, but when he went to Calvary he took someone with him. He took the worst part of every human. We all have a sinful nature. In order for Jesus to accomplish salvation, we go to Calvary. We are nailed to the cross. We hang there. It was Jesus and the worst part of every one of us. In order for us to be saved God had to deal with all our sin in Jerusalem on top of a hill. When he was smacked around and spat on, when he was mistreated, we were there because he bore our sins. He shed his blood so our sins could be blotted out.
We put on our best face when we come together. None of looks like we did when we got out of bed this morning. Our best appearance is still unacceptable to God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God. Jesus didn’t choose the best part of us; he took the worst. We didn’t help Jesus bear our sins. The part of us that he took put the nails in his hands and the crown of thorns on his head. It smacked him and pulled his beard. He did it because he loved us. The Bible says he was wounded for our transgressions and by his stripes we are healed. It also says the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Jerusalem was the center of Israel. In order for us to be saved, we must go to our spiritual Jerusalem and take Jesus into our heart. We must take him to the center of our soul. Why go on in sin when it’s already been paid for? Why be under that bondage and let it put you in hell? Your sins are paid for by a Savior who said we go up to Jerusalem.
I didn’t ask Jesus to do this. Did you? Nobody asked him. Nobody asked to go with him, but we all put him there and were with him. If he hadn’t done this for us, we would have had to pay the penalty ourselves. He was determined that we’d be delivered. He was determined that our vileness would become his. He took it all—my cross and yours. Calvary was for us. It should have been all of us there. We deserved it, yet Jesus had done nothing wrong. The thief on the cross realized he was there justly and that Jesus was not. He asked Jesus to save him, and Jesus said he would be with him that day in paradise. Jesus traded places with each of us so we could look up to the cross and go to Jerusalem. We go to God through Jesus Christ.
He died for us. Man had no hand in the finishing touches. On the third day he rose again. Why? He is alive to deliver us from sin, a forever living Savior. He’s here to answer your prayer today. The people failed to understand. Do you understand what Jesus did? It is shown here clearly by the Lord himself. Let’s go to Jerusalem. It’s a “we thing” with Jesus. Call on his name and believe on him.