On arguably the second best biblioblog (mad props to Mark Goodacre) a commenter questioned my interpretation I recently released on Huffington Post Religion, daring to suggest I was wrong, suggesting a better interpretation based on Mark 10.45.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (NASB)
I can’t write fully on this, namely because I don’t have the time today and second BUY MY BOOK.
However, 10.45 is written after, long after, the time of Jesus. Second, I would see this as responding to Israel’s nationalistic sins, such as the Revolt — see Maurice Casey here who is sublime in his reasoning, although I place the date of Mark much later than he. In other words, Jesus is pictured here as excepting his death as a martyr for Israel in penance for its revolt against Rome/crime against God. We see this exemplified in the death of Simon bar Giora. (See my book)
So, does this verse/saying of Jesus still fit with my view that the Historical Jesus could very well have taken the initiative? Yes. For instance, Jesus names himself as the primary participant here in his death. Second, this fits the martyrdom hypothesis. If the Historical Jesus (let’s separate that from the Gospel Jesus) saw Israel in need of repentance (Daniel’s closing chapters c.f. with John’s baptism), a repentance only achieved by sacrifice (Psalms of Solomon, Maccabees) then it is still possible he intended to give himself to the Romans as a sacrifice to God for the sins of Israel.
While this doesn’t fit our patina layered theology, it can easily fit the time and place and a few other things.