We have an idiom in English the talks about the beginning of the end. When we use the phrase ‘this is the beginning of the end’, it’s almost always in a negative sense. A TV detective might say to the criminal he’s been chasing, “this is the beginning of the end for you.” We can apply the phrase to today’s text in Matthew. However, we do so in a positive sense.
The end of Jesus’ earthly ministry is ultimately his ascension into heaven. We know that happens 43 days after his crucifixion; it is 40 days after his resurrection. Knowing what we know about the whole purpose of his ministry, it’s safe to say that the beginning of the end of that ministry was marked by the crucifixion. That’s when the real work began.
It’s Jesus’ crucifixion that provides justification for us. But it’s his resurrection that gives us eternal hope for glory. Without the resurrection, we would be destined to spend eternity in paradise. The lost would spend it in hell. But because the resurrection occurred, we now get to spend eternity in the new heaven and earth while the lost will be eternally punished in the lake of fire. However, that’s a different study for another day. For today, think on the fact that the crucifixion marks the beginning of the end – but in a very good way.