No one but God knew in advance about God’s creative military strategy for Gideon to defeat the invading Midianites. No one except God knew far in advance about God’s creative idea for Joshua to bring down the walls of Jericho. No one knew until that very moment that God would honor Joshua’s request to temporarily hold back the sun’s progress across the sky until the army of Israel could defeat the enemy. No one but God knew, far out in advance, that God could provide fresh drinking water out of barren rocks in the desert, or provide manna from heaven for the sustenance of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
No one knew weeks or months beforehand that God would part the Red Sea. No one knew beforehand that the Son of God, along with two angels, would pay a personal visit to Abraham and Sarah to announce to them the upcoming conception of their son Isaac. No one had the slightest idea in advance, other than God, that someone like Joseph of Arimathaea would unexpectedly approach Pilate regarding the disposition of the dead body of Jesus. No one understood beforehand, except possibly John the Baptist (John 1:29), or Simeon and Anna in the Temple (Luke 2:25-38), that salvation would come to mankind through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God through a partial-only first-advent fulfillment of the messianic prophecies, that would divide, separate, and offend a large portion of the Jews at that time.
Absolutely no one understood the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ ahead of time, as evidenced by the actions of everyone around Jesus. Even with all of the Old Testament messianic prophecies so clear to us today in hindsight…the ancient Jewish practice of blood atonement for sin…and the straightforward disclosure of Jesus to the disciples of His upcoming death and resurrection weeks ahead of time, no one at the time understood the divinely creative novelty of the cross and the resurrection until after the actual events transpired. This should at the least give us pause as we consider the enterprise of attempting to construct an end-times scenario of events from start to finish.