Jesus said to (his disciples), ‘the son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men and they shall kill him, and on the third day he shall be raise again’ and his disciples were exceedingly sorrowful (Mt17:22,23)
They really didn’t get it, did they? It is important to recognize that even Jesus’ closest disciples had no idea whatsoever that an essential element of their Messiah’s earthly ministry was to die to pay the price for human sin – they were depressed even having been assured He would be resurrected three days later! It re-affirms the Lukan narratives identified in earlier post concerning the gospel of the kingdom (cf. Lk9:44-46; Lk18:33-34) and the fact that that Good News message cannot have incorporated soteriology pertaining to the Cross. Of course, the apostolic writers and the churches founded by them have rightly focussed upon the latter, but that cannot be “this gospel of the Kingdom” that Jesus referred to in the context of His second coming (Mt24:14). It also challenges the mighty Augustine’s proposal that people in Old Testament times were “saved by believing in the incarnation, passion and resurrection of Christ as a future event” [a]. To the chagrin of many it has been necessary in my book[b] and within these posts to subvert virtually every distinctive teaching of that 4th/5th century colossus if God’s munificent providence is to be perceived, more especially the Bishop of Hippo’s rejection of his predecessors’ consensus regarding natural law, free will, anthropology and the economy of grace that will be considered in more detail once we consider the writings of Paul.
[a] Augustine: “Against two letters of the Pelagians” Book III Chap. 11
[b] The Little Book of Providence – free PDF HERE