"And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.” (Matt.17:22,23)
As the old saying goes, "People hear what they want to hear." When I read these verses today, the last five words grabbed my attention. "And they were exceeding sorry." Exceeding sorry? Sorry that Jesus would rise from the dead on the third day? No, you say, they were sorry that Jesus would be betrayed and killed. Oh, but there could be no resurrection without the death. It would be as if you had a very painful tumor, and the doctor told you he was going to put you to sleep, cut the tumor out and rid you of the pain, once and for all. Would you leave his office sorrowful because of the operation, or rejoicing because of the prognosis?
If we're not careful, we can fine-tune our ears to the negative, and every situation will be seen in the worst possible light. Mourn the wickedness of man at Calvary, gaze in horror at the Cross; but do not make the mistake of lingering there past three days. For in a nearby garden there is an empty tomb, and when you see and comprehend all its implications, your sorrow will turn to rejoicing, and your future will seem as bright as the promises of God.
Two men look out the same prison bars;
One sees mud and the other sees stars.
— Frederick Langbridge