Mark 9:30-32 The Central Message.
Jesus and his disciples continued travelling through the gentile area of Galilee, but at this point “He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, ‘The son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day’” (vv. 30-31). The disciples, along with the vast majority of the people, including the religious leaders, did not understand that the Anointed One, the Messiah, had to first suffer and offer himself up as a priestly sacrifice, before he could begin his reign as king. Of course, they had already accepted that he was the Anointed prophet, the first in order of his threefold office as the Christ. However, even after again teaching them concerning his death and resurrection on the third day, his closest disciples “did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him” (v. 32). Luke makes clear that this was hidden from them at this time, proving that God must enable one to perceive the truth (9:44 Cf. 18:34).
Sometimes the knowledge of certain historical facts, especially those which have yet to take place, are best kept in secret from those who would not understand the significance of the events. Jesus death would be no ordinary one, and certainly his resurrection would be unique. As with all the events of salvation history, they are historical facts, but they are also wrought with profound spiritual meaning, and occurring, as Paul also pointed out, “according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:4). Jesus spoke of his betrayal as being then presently active, for he knew what his enemies were conspiring against him, and he knew they would kill him (v. 31a). However, he also knew that after three days he would rise from the dead (v. 31b). The reason that there is hope for sinners in the death of Christ is because it is followed by the resurrection. The resurrection was the sign that the sacrifice of himself would be accepted by the Father for the sins of his people, and the resurrection of the new life to be received.