Luke 18:31-34 (ESV)
At that time, Jesus, taking the twelve aside, said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
We all like making the best laid plans. Whether it be a family celebration, or a landmark event in our lives (like marriage, graduation, etc.), or even career choices, in some way, given the circumstances about us, we like to have a plan in place, a goal set and the path to follow to reach that goal.
We can well imagine, then, the disciples of Jesus doing the same. They have heard Him speak words of wisdom that appeal not only to the mind but to the heart. They have accepted His invitation to follow Him as disciples, leaving family and jobs behind. They have witnessed amazing miracles never seen before. Given all of this and the knowledge of the Scriptures, this Jesus must be the Messiah, the One that the Lord promised from ages ago—they thought of the Messiah only in victorious terms.
When Jesus began to speak of being delivered (a prisoner of some sort), of being mocked and shamefully treated, of being spit upon (most disrespectful), of being tortured and killed… well, this didn’t fit with their best laid (and assumed) plans for the Lord. On top of this, Jesus spoke of rising on the third day. Impossible! Jesus didn’t fit into their ideas for what a Messiah should be. But look what happened! His Death and Resurrection went far beyond their best laid plans. It is in His death and resurrection that we are born to eternal life, that we become partakers of His Divine Life! In Him, we are not just no longer oppressed, but freed and given life beyond our understanding!
Perhaps today, in some silence, we could examine our best laid plans for our life, and our expectations for what we want the Lord to do in our lives. And perhaps we could ask the Lord what HE wants to do in our lives. The Christian life is way better when we give up the notion that the Lord submits to our plans—we need to let go and submit to His plans. That’s the best laid plan!