Isaiah 50:7 But the Lord GOD helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
Luke 9:51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Our expectation of the future determines the way we will face it. How would you face the future if you knew what really would meet you around the invisible corner of time? Hope is something that uniquely belongs to human beings. Jesus fully knew what awaited Him on this journey to Jerusalem (see Mark chapter 9 and following, John 11 and following, Luke 9 and following, or Matthew 16 and following ). If he chose to go towards Jerusalem, it would lead an inevitable future: your forgiveness, His death.
Determination (look forward)
Israel had long awaited a deliverer. They awaited a Messiah who would rescue them; what this rescue would look like no one knew. Would it be religious freedom? A new definitive interpretation on religion? Would it be political freedom? A freedom from oppression and aggression from foreign rule? Would it be social freedom? Would everyone final be free from want and need?
The beauty of the Incarnation is that it leaves all previous understandings of the Messiah in tatters. Jesus’ rescue would be such that the world had never seen. The dreams of religious, political or social freedom held by all would be mere appetizers for the greatness of the miracle that Jesus would accomplish in Jerusalem.
The coach Vince Lombardi once commented, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” Jesus’ rescue is incredible because only he had the resolve to say, “Father, not my will but Yours be done.”
Determined (look back)
The only way to have the resolute determination to face your future and embrace it is to look back. Look back and see the story of relentless grace pursuing you. Easter is the story that long before you ever knew and loved God, He knew and loved you.