So when we see Jesus withdraw from the press of the crowds and retreat to a place of rest, he is not simply taking a well-deserved break from his useful but exhausting ministry. He is honoring a deep spiritual need for a time dedicated not to accomplishment and growth, but to quiescence and rest. His disciples cannot comprehend his leaving--there are still lepers to heal, blind that need to see, and the hungry to be fed. When Jesus slips away, they run about in search of him--doesn't he realize there is much good work to be done?
Soon enough, Jesus rests in death. Like a seed planted in fertile ground, he must die to bear fruit. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. And so Jesus dies, and lies dormant for three days. Without this dormancy, the resurrection of new life would be impossible.
If God raised Jesus in three days, surely he could have been raised in two, or one, or even been made invincible. So why sentence him to death for three days? Because everything, even the anointed of God, must rest, even in death.