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“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.”
As we have noted, there was never any doubt in the Saviour’s mind that He had come to do the Father’s will and that the plan centred in His death on the cross and His rising from the dead on the third day. We have seen how strongly the Lord reacted to Peter’s contribution to the conversation at Caesarea Philippi when he could not accept that the MESSIAH was going to die. “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN,” declared the Lord.
We have also seen how opposition to the Lord started in the early days of His ministry. That opposition became more and more intense as the weeks went past. It was on a visit to Jerusalem that the Jews were threatening to stone Him to death. Things were always much quieter for the Lord in the northern part of the country, in the Galilee area. Many of His miracles were performed in that province and a number of people became His devoted followers there as a result of this.
Obviously the disciples felt much safer while they were in Galilee. When the message about the sickness of Lazarus reached the little group, the Lord told His disciples that they were going to journey to Bethany, (right down near Jerusalem!), to see Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Their immediate reaction is recorded for us in John 11:7-8, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” Thomas went even further. His gloomy reaction was, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
So did these reactions cause the Saviour to have second thoughts? The verse in the box above gives us the answer. It is similar to another of Isaiah’s great prophecies in Isaiah 50:6-7, “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; THEREFORE I HAVE SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”
The Lord’s life of perfect obedience to the Father’s will had begun when He agreed to the eternal plan of salvation before the foundation of the world and continued throughout His earthly stay. When Satan came with his three temptations, the Lord didn’t waver for a second. Using the sword of the Spirit, He resisted the devil’s blandishments and remained true to the Father. On more than one occasion He said quite clearly that He was here to do the Father’s will rather than His own. Note the words of John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” That was always His aim, in every situation.