“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”  (Luke 9:51 NIV)

 

 

We are a little over a week from recognizing “Good Friday.”  Christians all over the world recognize it as the day that Jesus was crucified.  It is “good” for it meant He willingly sacrificed His life as an atonement for our sins.  However, it was anything but good for Jesus, as He was beaten, scourged with a whip impregnated with bone and glass, and cruelly nailed to a cross until He died.  That was His destiny, and the purpose of His birth.  He was born to die for you and me, and this is why we recognize all that He did as “good.”  We would have no hope had He not.

 

The week before His crucifixion would take place, Jesus would have been traveling from wherever He was at the time to Jerusalem, and to His destiny on the cross.  Think of what He was going through.  What would it have been like for Him, for He knew what He would be facing?  He knew there would be the greatest pain of His life … pain that we would understand and pain that He had that we do not understand.  He knew the temptation that would come at Him to not allow Himself to be taken and crucified.  He had to fight the temptation to not give up, and give in, for even His very bests friends deserted Him, and one even outright betrayed Him.  How many of us would take the option to walk away, because no one deserved the sacrifice He was making?  I’m afraid I would be one to walk away.  But not Jesus.  He was resolute.

 

As we consider the word resolute, let’s consider what it means.  It means…

 

“firmly resolved – determined – set in purpose (characterized by) firmness and determination”

 

Got the picture?  Now allow the demeanor of Jesus to soak in, as you reflect on what He had to require of Himself to make that trip to Golgotha.  He had to be absolutely sold out to His purpose and mission.  If He had not been, then He might have walked away, and look where we would be if that had happened.

 

On His trip to Jerusalem Jesus had friends around Him trying to dissuade Him from going there.  Everyone knew that a contract was on Jesus’ head that the religious system had placed on Him.  They all knew He would be walking into a den of vipers in Jerusalem.  But they could not dissuade Him.  Jesus even lashed out to Peter when he tried to persuade Jesus to not go.  How would you feel as Jesus’ friend to hear Him say to you … “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”?  Talk about feeling misunderstood?  I’m sure this hurt Peter deeply, until he reflected later that Jesus was trying to stay on His mission and He couldn’t give any ground to a thought that might make Him back away.  He was resolute.

 

Being resolute is essential in some cases.  We see this kind of determination when there is something generally very important on the line.  However, I’m not talking about being stubborn.  I’ve seen some very self-destructive people who would rather die than give in, even though what they fight for has no real value.  They just see it as important to not be agreeable or cooperative, even if what they fight for hurts them in the end.  This kind of struggle is not worth being resolute over.  So, I do think we need to think wisely about what we will dig in and fight for, and this is where God given priorities come into focus.

 

When God gives us priorities such as personal integrity, family time and involvement, and being obedient to His guidance and precepts, I think we need to be resolute in pursuing them.  If we are not, then we can be easily dissuaded from staying on the path God has given to us.  We need to understand that with every step we take in obedience to Christ for the purpose He has assigned to us, there will be a voice of discouragement trying to tempt us off that path.  It was the same with Jesus, and it will be the same for us who follow Him.  Every step of the way we have to make a pre-determination if we will stay true to His call and purpose on our life.  We must determine our commitment ahead of the battles, and ahead of the temptations., for when we are in them, we may be too weak to stand.

 

Jesus knew where He was headed.  Even so He pre-determined that He would not check out and leave us stranded.  He fought His fight all the way to the cross and on it.  He was resolute to complete His mission.  Will you be resolute to follow Him?