Thinking Out Loud

April 10, 2009

Setting Our Faces Toward Jerusalem — Part Five

Filed under: Christianity, Jesus — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 3:24 pm

GOOD FRIDAY —

It has been good for me not have to choose or find a topic — or even think about catchy titles — for this week of blog posts.    Reconsidering the Easter story means the drama truly writes itself.

The headline I chose for this series is based on Luke 9:51, which appears below in KJV — probably a first for this blog — along with Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

When the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

1. There was a time fixed for the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus, and he knew well enough when it was, and had a clear and certain foresight of it, and yet was so far from keeping out of the way that then he appeared most publicly of all, and was most busy, knowing that his time was short.

2. When he saw his death and sufferings approaching, he looked through them and beyond them, to the glory that should follow; he looked upon it as the time when he should be received up into glory (1 Tim. 3:16), received up into the highest heavens, to be enthroned there. Moses and Elias spoke of his death as his departure out of this world, which made it not formidable; but he went further, and looked upon it as his translation to a better world, which made it very desirable. All good Christians may frame to themselves the same notion of death, and may call it their being received up, to be with Christ where he is; and, when the time of their being received up is at hand, let them lift up their heads, knowing that their redemption draws nigh.

3. On this prospect of the joy set before him, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem the place where he was to suffer and die. He was fully determined to go, and would not be dissuaded; he went directly to Jerusalem, because there now his business lay, and he did not go about to other towns, or fetch a compass, which if he had done, as commonly he did, he might have avoided going through Samaria. He went cheerfully and courageously thither, though he knew the things that should befal him there. He did not fail nor was discouraged, but set his face as a flint, knowing that he should be not only justified, but glorified (Isa. 50:7), not only not run down, but received up.for, and shame us out of, our backwardness to do and suffer for Christ! We draw back, and turn our faces another way from his service who steadfastly set his face against all opposition, to go through with the work of our salvation.

If that’s a longer quote passage for some of you, then just read part three.   The other verse that came to mind this week was Hebrews 12:2.   We’ll use the KJV again (just to be consistent) and again hear from Matthew Henry

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What it was that supported the human soul of Christ under these unparalleled sufferings; and that was the joy that was set before him. He had something in view under all his sufferings, which was pleasant to him; he rejoiced to see that by his sufferings he should make satisfaction to the injured justice of God and give security to his honour and government, that he should make peace between God and man, that he should seal the covenant of grace and be the Mediator of it, that he should open a way of salvation to the chief of sinners, and that he should effectually save all those whom the Father had given him, and himself be the first-born among many brethren. This was the joy that was set before him.

at-the-foot-of-the-corss

Today I also wanted to share another worship selection. Unlike yesterday’s, this one is more commonly sung congregationally, though it makes for a great solo as well. It’s At The Foot of the Cross by Kathryn Scott.

Here’s an excellent YouTube item using the original recording; but first time around, once the music starts, click back here and just follow the lyrics:

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received

And You’ve won my heart
Yes You’ve won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me

Matthew Henry commentaries used today were from Blue Letter Bible.

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