“Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive.” (Matthew 16:21 MSG)
Jesus taught an important message that greatly dismayed His disciples. He often told them, especially as He was about to go to the Cross, that He must suffer and die. At one point, Peter rebuked Him in private for talking like that. “Peter took Him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”’ (Matthew 16:22 MSG). We know that Jesus rebuked Peter in front of the other disciples! “But Jesus didn’t swerve. ‘Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works”’ (v.23).
How many of us are just like this overprotective disciple? When our loved ones speak of dying, we interrupt them and dismiss their words with a loud and angry, “God forbid!” We don’t want to hear it! But there was a powerful truth behind the message Jesus was conveying to His distressed disciples – and us today – that can help us rise again. After all, He did promise that after the suffering and death, there would come a resurrection. Death could not hold Him. He overcame it, and so can we. “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11 NIV).
Death is not the end of life. Jesus often used sleep as a euphemism for death to remind us that death is a temporary sleep from which we can awake (Mark 5:39; John 11:11). As the Son of God, Jesus has the divine power to restore the physically and spiritually dead back to life again (John 5:21).
Excerpt from the chapter, “First Comes Death,” Rise Again