Jesus was well aware of his purpose on this earth. He came to be the perfect sacrifice so that man could be reconciled to God. He came to die so that we would have the chance to live.
He spoke about this on several occasions with his disciples. His aim by doing this was for them to understand the purpose and will of God. It was part of his teaching and preparing the disciples for the work they were to do as it was their role to spread the word of the risen Christ and the power of his resurrection.
Jesus did not want his people left in the dark. As it was then, so it is today. His will is not to keep his people without understanding. He wants to show his people what he is doing and lead them along the paths of knowledge, truth and righteousness.
When he walked the earth he taught his disciples many things. He brought them to places of understanding through the use of stories, examples, parables and analogies so they would see the point of his lessons. But in relation to his death he was quite plain. He spoke of the treachery that was to come when he was handed over to the chief priests and scribes who would deliver him up to death.
The disciples and those following Jesus were afraid and concerned about him speaking this way. After all he had done, and knowing he was the Son of God, they did not want him to die. But they still did not understand the will of God and did not understand the resurrection and the power that would come through Jesus’ resurrection. They did not understand that this was his purpose and that through his death and resurrection we and they would have eternal life.
While he walked the earth he helped many people and even gave life to some. But in his death and the spread of the gospel he has brought life to countless millions from generation to generation. Without his death and resurrection we would not have had the opportunity of life eternal.
It was his custom to give his people understanding of things to come, and that was his purpose in this section of scripture. He was foretelling his death and resurrection so that the people and his disciples would not be taken by surprise. It may have seemed like bad news at the time, but it became not just good news but the greatest news of all time, for in his resurrection and life we too have life.
(Picture sourced from stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/ taken by Gavin Mills)