Jesus’ followers were quite dismayed at when He refused to take up arms and fight, choosing instead to be led to the slaughter. Always before, when a king decided to overthrow another kingdom, it was done with the sword. How unimaginable it must have seemed when they finally realized that Jesus intended to be crucified on a Roman cross. He’d hinted of this death over and over again, but like people always do, they tended to hear what they wanted to hear. They clearly heard the “king” and the “kingdom” part, even arguing who would be “first” when it was established. What they failed to hear was that this foe was different than any adversary war had ever been waged against. To win this battle Jesus would have to defeat what was used to win every other war. Jesus would have to defeat death itself. The only way to accomplish this was to come back from the dead. This would require a huge sacrifice on God’s part. Or, maybe we should say, a “perfect” sacrifice.
“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'” John 18:37