An interesting (and convicting) comment on Jesus’ prediction of His own death in Mark 8:31, which reads: “He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
The convicting point, as a member of the human race, is that Jesus was not killed in a “bad neighborhood” or some remote corner of the world we would see as dangerous. No, He was right at the intersection of the highest and best things going on (humanly speaking) in the world at the time: Roman law, Greek learning, Jewish tradition:
The prediction of Jesus’ passion conceals a great irony, for the suffering and death of the Son of Man will not come, as we would expect, at the hands of godless and wicked people. The suffering of the Son of Man comes rather at the hands of “the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law.” It is not humanity at its worst that will crucify the Son of God, but humanity at its absolute best. The death of Jesus will not be the result of a momentary lapse or aberration of human nature, but rather the result of careful deliberation from respected religious leaders who will justify their actions by the highest standards of the law and morality, even believing them to render service to God (John 16:2). Jesus will not be lynched by an enraged mob or beaten to death in a criminal act. He will be arrested with official warrants, and tried and executed by the world’s envy of jurisprudence – The Jewish Sanhedrin and the principia iuris Romanorum [the Roman Law Court].
James Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, p. 254
Just think about what this says about the human condition apart from Christ! What an indictment that we crucified Him in orderly, offical proceedngs, thought out and logically carried forward!
It also seems to me that there’s some interesting food for thought here on what discipleship and danger really mean for us as Christ’s followers–and where they can be found.