Christ here foretels his own sufferings; he began to do it before (Matt. 16:21); and, finding that it was to his disciples a hard saying, he saw it necessary to repeat it. There are some things which God speaketh once, yea twice, and yet man perceiveth it not. Observe here,
1. What he foretold concerning himself—that he should be betrayed and killed. He perfectly knew, before, all things that should come to him, and yet undertook the work of our redemption, which greatly commends his love; nay, his clear foresight of them was a kind of ante-passion, had not his love to man made all easy to him.
(1.) He tells them that he should be betrayed into the hands of men. He shall be delivered up (so it might be read and understood of his Father’s delivering him up by his determined counsel and fore-knowledge, Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:32); but as we render it, it refers to Judas’s betraying him into the hands of the priests, and their betraying him into the hands of the Romans. He was betrayed into the hands of men; men to whom he was allied by nature, and from whom therefore he might expect pity and tenderness; men whom he had undertaken to save, and from whom therefore he might expect honour and gratitude; yet these are his persecutors and murderers.
(2.) That they should kill him; nothing less than that would satisfy their rage; it was his blood, his precious blood, that they thirsted after. This is the heir, come, let us kill him. Nothing less would satisfy God’s justice, and answer his undertaking; if he be a Sacrifice of atonement, he must be killed; without blood no remission.
(3.) That he shall be raised again the third day. Still, when he spoke of his death, he gave a hint of his resurrection, the joy set before him, in the prospect of which he endured the cross, and despised the shame. This was an encouragement, not only to him, but to his disciples; for if he rise the third day, his absence from them will not be long, and his return to them will be glorious.
2. How the disciples received this; They were exceedingly sorry. Herein appeared their love to their Master’s person, but with all their ignorance and mistake concerning his undertaking. Peter indeed durst not say any thing against it, as he had done before (Matt. 16:22), having then been severely chidden for it; but he, and the rest of them, greatly lamented it, as it would be their own loss, their Master’s grief, and the sin and ruin of them that did it.