From then on Jesus began to point out to his disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.” (Matthew 16:21-23).
Like Peter, many ask: “Why would Jesus let this happen to himself? Jesus’ answer to Peter is remarkable. Basically, Jesus’ response is that Peter does not look at things as God does (v.23b). Ironic enough, Peter later wrote about Jesus:
“He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1Peter 1:20-21).
In the gospels, Jesus repeatedly said that His will on earth was to do the will of the father and to finish the work that the father sent Him to do (John 4:34, 5:36,17:4).
It is safe to say that for Jesus, “finishing the work” meant the sacrificial work of redeeming mankind. This is validated by His declaration on the cross “It is finished” (John 19:30).
In a nutshell, Jesus understood His mission and willingly put it upon himself. In mark 10:45 He said “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In John 10:17-18, Jesus declared: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. – Here, He plainly says that He has authority to lay day His life (sacrificially as a good shepherd) and take it up again. But even in this, He fully obeys the father, who gave him the command.
Why is this imoportant?
- That Jesus suffered willingly in accordance with the will of the father demonstrates his oneness with the Godhead in providing salvation for man.
- That Jesus suffered willingly demonstrates God’s love for humanity – He suffers for us and with us through the Son
- That Christ suffers willingly provides us an example for living – Philippians 2:5-8, 1 Peter 2:21.