The Cross was no mistake. The Resurrection wasn’t a fluke. We know these things because of Jesus’ words at the temple. At the time, His disciples didn’t understand the meaning of Jesus’ words any more than the people questioning Him.
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. – John 2:21-22, ESV
With hindsight they were able to understand His words. He would go to the Cross as a sacrifice for sin. But unlike an ordinary man, He would rise up after three days. Only God could forgive the people for their sins. And only God could raise Himself for the dead. Therefore, the Cross and the empty tomb would be the proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be: God Himself. And with that proof we could have assurance in Jesus’ ability to forgive us and deliver us.
Note the timing of Jesus’ words. They come at the beginning of His ministry. They weren’t generated by an inevitable conclusion. Jesus wasn’t some rebel Israelite being hunted down by the Romans. No, Jesus was a relative unknown at this point. None of us would likely have reached the conclusion Jesus stated, He would die. Yet Jesus presented it to those assembled. He did so cryptically, but still He gave evidence of what was to come.
We see so many prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to Jesus. Every one concerning His incarnation He fulfilled. But those aren’t the only prophecies about Jesus. There are multiple ones in the New Testament, like Jesus’ promise to rise again in 3 days. They give us further confirmation for our faith.
Rejoice, for Jesus was who He said He was and He still is today. Celebrate, because by His grace our sins are forgiven and we are made acceptable to the Father. Exalt Him for doing what we cannot. And be humbled by this unbelievable demonstration of His love for us. The Gospel bears repeating again and again. Let it not grow stale in our minds and hearts.