I have argued that the conflicts during Jesus’ ministry were quite sufficient for him to have expected to die. More than that, when he left Galilee to celebrate his final Passover with his disciples, he fully intended to die in Jerusalem. He believed that his death would fulfil the will of God for the redemption of his people Israel. This was an event of such importance that he found it foretold in the scriptures.
I find this statement, for some reason, really fascinating since it essentially goes against the grain of a good deal of historical Jesus scholarship. Scholarship which essentially presents Jesus as being overtaken by events and only the later Church seeing him as predicting his own death. I’m thinking especially of Schweitzer’s “Jesus was crushed by the wheel’ ideology which so permeates NT research.
Once more, don’t forget, we’ve got a contest going offering a free copy of Prof. Casey’s book to the winner (as chosen by James Spinti and myself).
[All of the excerpts in our present series can be acquired here]