The Gospel-writers record three distinct occasions when Jesus clearly taught the disciples about His eventual death, burial and resurrection.
“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” (Matthew 16:21, CSB).
Later, “as they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus told them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.’ ” (Matthew 17:22–23, CSB).
“While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside privately and said to them on the way, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death. They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised’ ”(Matthew 20:17–19, CSB).
Mark and Luke also recorded these three significant moments (Mark 8:31-9:1; 9:30-32; 10:32-34 and Luke 9:22-25; 9:43-45; 18:31-34).
These three occasions are certainly not the only times that Jesus spoke of His planned and prepared death, burial and resurrection. When the scribes and Pharisees demanded a miraculous sign, Jesus responded, “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights’ ” (Matthew 12:38-40, CSB).
Jesus hinted at His victory over the grave when He said, “Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit”(John 12:24, CSB).
Jesus also taught, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep ... I lay down my life for the sheep ... No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again” (John 10:11–18, CSB)
And, Jesus didn’t correct John the Baptist’s statement: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, ESV).
Jesus promised the death, burial and resurrection, and then He kept His promise! Just as He said, He suffered and died. And, just as He said, three days after being entombed in death, He burst forth, ALIVE!