Sermon: Going Up To Jerusalem: Matthew 20:17-19

Truth Taught- Jesus foretells His death and resurrection the third time.


Jesus and His disciples are on their way to the cross.  There can be no misunderstanding and no confusion.  We should see this third prediction of Jesus as the marker on the road with the arrow pointing to Jerusalem.  Jesus takes the hard road that will glorify His Father and save many sinners. 
The first prediction…

Matthew 16:21 (ESV) 

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 

In this first prediction, Jesus tells His disciples that Jerusalem is the city where He will die.  He will die at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes.  Then, He tells His disciples that on the third day, He will be raised from the dead.  

The second prediction…

Matthew 17:22–23 (ESV) 

22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. 

Here, Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man being the Daniel 7:13-14 account where One like a Son of Man ascends into Heaven and is given dominion over all things.

Daniel 7:13–14 (ESV) 

13 “I saw in the night visions, 

       and behold, with the clouds of heaven 

there came one like a son of man, 

and he came to the Ancient of Days 

and was presented before him. 

14  And to him was given dominion 

and glory and a kingdom, 

that all peoples, nations, and languages 

should serve him; 

his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 

which shall not pass away, 

and his kingdom one 

that shall not be destroyed. 

Jesus tells His disciples that He will be delivered into the hands of evil men and they will kill Him.  Again, He predicts His resurrection on the third day.

This now brings us to the third and final prediction of His death….

For the Christian there is no greater theme than that of the cross.  Because it is on the cross where Jesus died for us and completely cancelled our sin debt.  It is the cross in which the wrath that belonged to us was poured out very violently on Jesus.  It is the cross where we see the death that should have been ours and the death that will be for all who remain outside of Christ.  It’s the cross where we see even all the universe made right.  It is the cross that the Trinity had waited for and worked to achieve.  Jesus was always going to the cross even before His birth the Son of God was slated for the cross.  Even before Adam and Eve sinned the cross was on the horizon.

Revelation 13:8 (ESV) 

and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 

It’s so important for us to understand the cross is not God reacting to man’s sin but was planned from the foundation of the world.  When God formed Adam and Eve He had already the exact plans for the cross.  So detailed were those plans that Jesus could speak of them to His followers before they took place.  So, when we use the term prophecy or prediction it’s really not quite accurate.  The reason is that we are speaking of God’s decree made before the foundation of the world and it cannot fail.  Every detail will come about exactly as He has planned.  There are no reactions, no plan B.  God is sovereign over His creation.

Isaiah 46:9–10 (ESV) 

remember the former things of old; 

for I am God, and there is no other; 

I am God, and there is none like me, 

10  declaring the end from the beginning 

and from ancient times things not yet done, 

saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, 

and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 

As we look at today’s text I pray the determination of Jesus to go straight to Jerusalem because the time has come will so astonish and affect us that we will worship Him all the more.  We will see His example of following our Father and it will help us follow no matter where He leads us. 

Father, this is Your Word.  Make it effectual in our hearts and lives.  Cause it to accomplish all Your purposes.  Apply its truths by Your Holy Spirit for the glorification of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Matthew 20:17–19 (ESV) 

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 

1.  Jerusalem, The City of the King

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem.

In the other two predictions, Jesus tells us that He will be going to Jerusalem and then all the things that will take place there.  Here, today He is beginning His journey there.  He is going to Jerusalem.

There is what Matthew highlights, an emphasis on the place where Jesus is to be crucified.  Over and over again, we are told it is Jerusalem.   This is the way biblical literature emphasizes something, it is repeated over and over again.  In other words, whether we like it or not repetition helps us understand and remember something.
What is Jerusalem?
Deuteronomy 12:8–11 (ESV) 

“You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, 11 then to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord. 

Jerusalem is the place where God had chosen to make His name dwell.  It’s the place where the temple was, where the sacrifices were made, where the prayers and incense went up to God.  It was the place where God chose.  It was His city.

Jerusalem is also the city of the King.  It’s where God’s anointed King dwells.  It’s where the throne of David sat.  It is the place where the rightful heir to the throne should be.  Jesus is the heir to the Davidic throne.  Jerusalem is Jesus’ city.

Jerusalem is also the city where the King’s glory is seen.  Here is where Jesus shines brighter than any earthly king could.  It is on the cross where the glory of King Jesus began to shine bright.  His glory will continue and the Father will restore all the glory Jesus had prior to His incarnation but it is the cross in full obedience to His Father’s design and plan King Jesus shines forth the glory of the Father in His city, Jerusalem.

John 17:1–5 (ESV) 

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 

Jerusalem was chosen by God to be the place where His Son would not reveal the Kingdom but in a much greater way, establish the Kingdom.  He would be crowned King.  It was a crown not of a proud monarch but a humble monarch.  The crown of thorns would be pressed upon His head in mockery but it was a crown.  Jesus came to this world as the rightful heir to the throne of David.  All one has to do is follow the genealogical list at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel.  Jesus is the King and Jerusalem is His city and it would there His Kingly Glory would shine brighter than any Glory this sinful world has ever seen.

In a few weeks, Lord willing, when we arrive at Chapter 21 of Matthew we will watch as Jesus enters His city.  

Matthew 21:9 (ESV) 

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 

The crowds we singing great praises to the King of Jerusalem.  It is a wonderful mystery that they shouted; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  If we turn to where this verse originates, we will discover that the next verse tells us that the sacrifice will be bound with cords on the horns of the altar.  This place of sacrifice is where Jesus’ glory is seen. 

Psalm 118:26–27 (ESV) 

26  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 

We bless you from the house of the Lord. 

27  The Lord is God, 

and he has made his light to shine upon us. 

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, 

up to the horns of the altar! 

Jerusalem is also the city where the sacrifices are made. 
That’s what Jerusalem is and that’s why Jesus had to go there.  It was the city where God’s name dwelt, it’s the city of the King where the throne was, it’s the city the sacrifices were made and it’s the city where the Lamb of God would be sacrificed on the cross and it is the city where Christ’s glory shines in perfect obedience to the Father.  Jerusalem the great city of the King.

2.  King Jesus Tried, Rejected and Condemned

And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death.  19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles

The King is put on trial found guilty and condemned to death by crucifixion.  This is a divine supernatural trial. 
The Nation of Israel has officially rejected her King.  Jesus’ own people reject Him.  They thought they were doing the right thing and in God’s plan they were doing exactly what God wanted done.  We don’t want You, Jesus.  

The religious leaders would murder their Messiah thinking they were protecting Judaism from corruption when, in fact, they had so twisted Judaism that they were out to protect their sinful version and murder the One who taught the true Law of God.  This was exactly God’s plan.  

Now, it wasn’t the Jews alone who were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus…

19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles

It would be the Gentiles who carried out the crucifixion.  This is amazing because it is the nations who will eventually come to Jesus as Savior.  Jews and Gentiles from every nation will be called by God and saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  

3.  King Jesus Mocked, Flogged and Crucified

to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 

We must realize that simply dying was not enough.  Even though the wages of sin is death and Jesus died for our sins, simply dying was not enough.  We can take things a step further and truthfully say that dying and even shedding blood was also, not enough.  Jesus had to die by crucifixion. 

Philippians 2:6–8 (ESV) 

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Jesus was obedient to the point of death.  Then Paul takes things further still to say, even death on a cross.  You see death was not enough Jesus had to die on the cross.

Deuteronomy 21:22–23 (ESV) 

22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. 

Jesus had to die by hanging on the cross.  In this way, the passage from Deut. 21 would be true.  Jesus, by hanging on the tree would be cursed.  He had to be cursed by God.  Here’s the great news for us, Jesus was not cursed because of His own sin.  He was sinless.  He became a curse for our sin.

Galatians 3:13 (ESV) 

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 

He bore our curse for us.  He brought such glory to the Father by being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

4.  King Jesus Defeated Death and Rose on the Third Day

He brings God glory by vindicating His name and for saving those whom the Father has given to the Son as His inheritance.  And God so accepted Jesus’ perfect sinless death that God on the third day raised His Son from the grave.  The tomb could not keep One so holy.  The grave had wrongly claimed a victim.  God the Father ripped Jesus out of death’s grip.

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 (ESV) 

55  “O death, where is your victory? 

O death, where is your sting?” 

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Jesus went to the cross on purpose.  It was what He desired above all things to do.  It was how in eternity past the Trinity decreed it would happen.  There was nothing that could keep Jesus from the cross.

Matthew 20:28 (ESV) 

28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

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