As they went along the road on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus began to get ahead of those who followed, who were incredulous and afraid. So Jesus took the twelve aside again and told them what to expect.
“Here’s the plan,” he said. “We’re going to Jerusalem, and the chosen one will be handed over to the thought police and the bureaucrats, and they’ll sentence him to death. They’ll hand him over to the heathen who will belittle him, spit on him, beat him and kill him. Then, three days after that, he’ll be back.”
The plan is to make such a spectacular display of the inhumanity and abuses of those in power that a movement of dissent to sweeps them from power. The plan is to inspire the sleeping masses to exercise their humanity and build a new peaceable kingdom.
Jesus knows that it’s a gambit. A pawn is intentionally sacrificed to achieve a strategic advantage and victory later on. Only Jesus isn’t asking someone else to be the pawn. He’s taking that on himself.
It’s a plan that gets implemented over and over again every time Jesus comes back to make a display inhumanity and abuse of power. It was the game plan Gandhi used to bring the British empire down. It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s plan for the civil rights movement in the United States. It was the game plan of Nelson Mandela in the South African movement to end apartheid. The chosen one is sacrificed. The empire falls.
Then whenever a new empire arises, at the right time (three days is a Biblical term for “the right time”) Jesus, the chosen one, returns to do it again.
And again. And again.
That’s the plan.