PALM SUNDAY: Steadfast Journey
For six months, Jesus repeatedly prepared His disciples for the fact that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed and raised from the dead (Mt. 16:21). Rather than recoiling at the thought of what He would suffer, Jesus adamantly refused to be dissuaded. Luke tells us,
“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before . . .” (Lk. 9:51).
Jesus steadfastly set His face for the journey. He was determined. Resolute.
Journeying to Jerusalem was a part of God’s plan and Jesus moved with intentionality to bring it to pass. He was in complete control of His destiny. Significantly, the prophet Isaiah foresaw Messiah’s steadfast resolve testifying,
“Therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isa. 50:7).
Peter vehemently denounced the plan saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Mt. 16:22). Underscoring His resolve to go to Jerusalem, however, our Lord reproved Peter in the strongest terms: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Mt. 16:23).
Even as He journeyed toward Jerusalem, a contingency of sympathetic religious leaders intercepted Jesus’ company warning Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You” (Lk. 13:31). Jesus calmly assured that Herod had no ability to affect His plans. He would continue toward Jerusalem undeterred.
Contrary to the way events of Holy Week are generally portrayed, Jesus was not a victim of circumstances. Every event along the way—each miraculous healing—even His meeting with Zacchaeus in Jericho—factored into the timetable of the Lord’s momentous journey allowing Him to arrive on the outskirts of Jerusalem at precisely the predestined set time.
Jesus approached Jerusalem not with fear or anxiety, but with steadfast purpose and unwavering resolve fully aware of how events would unfold.
As Christians, we can be thankful that our Lord did not deviate from His preordained journey. His arrival in Jerusalem at the set time was crucial to all that followed in fulfilling God’s redemptive purpose.
Walk with me through Holy Week—from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday and Easter Monday—as we examine the Scriptures surrounding our Lord’s steadfast journey to the events that forever changed the course of history!
IMAGES AND DETAILS:
1) La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ (With Passover Approaching, Jesus Goes Up to Jerusalem). By James Tissot/via, Wikimedia/[PD-US, PD-Art]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
2) Il allait par les villages en route pour Jérusalem (He Went Through the Villages on the Way to Jerusalem). By James Tissot/via, Wikimedia/[PD-US, PD-Art]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken, comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.