Jesus Predicts his own Death

Mark provides a series of parables in chronological order matched to the overall story of the Bible. This one is about Jesus’ death.

The Story

32They 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. 33"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." Mark 10:32-34 (Mark 10:32-34 NIV)


Mark inserts this description of the things that will happen to Jesus as a parable. In this parable Jesus is ahead of the twelve. This is consistent with the placement of the parable along the historical time line.

The Book of Daniel explains that there will be a 490 year period from the decree authorizing the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s walls until the anointed one, the ruler, would appear in the city. This interval spanned the period from Cyrus’ decree that authorized Nehemiah’s reconstruction until the births of John the Baptist and Jesus.

The birth of Jesus, at the end of Daniel’s 70 weeks was the start of the period when Jesus would go up to Jerusalem. The first time was when he was 40 days old and his parents were obeying the Law of Moses. He was presented in the temple after the time of Mary’s purification. The people in the temple at the time were amazed by the child and by the prophetic words spoken over the child.

Jesus’ life was a repetition of the original historical time line. Each day of Jesus’ life matched 1 year from the human story since Adam. His last appearance in Jerusalem would replay his first. Both were baptisms. In the first he was born as a man and gave up his life in glory at the father’s side. At the end of his life he gave up his earthly life in order to allow all who follow him to receive eternal life.

This story begins on the road up to Jerusalem. This is a parable, like all the stories in Mark. This story makes the point that Jesus went ahead of the disciples. This makes little sense from the perspective of walking up the hill from Jericho to Jerusalem. It makes a lot of sense from the perspective of history. After Jesus’ resurrection, he ascended into heaven ahead of everyone else. Only after the general resurrection at the end of the age will anyone else be able to go to the place which he is preparing. His "going ahead" in history was at the ascension from the Mount of Olives. Here indeed the disciples were amazed, and afraid.

Jesus takes the 12 aside and begins to teach them more about what will happen in Jerusalem. Much will happen. Jesus will take on the sins of the world and then be crucified on a cross. Each detail that happens to Jesus reflects a punishment for sin which Jesus takes on the entire race.

At the end of Jesus’ discourse he makes the point that on the 3rd day he will rise again.

From a historical perspective the 3rd day is any time after 2000 years from Jesus’ time on earth. This is pointing roughly at the season 13,000 years from Adam, the era we are living in now.