Set Your Face

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

It was the final turn in the limited earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth. The time had come to be sacrificed. Calvary lay ahead and He was the only one who knew it. Luke will write of the moment, but only in hindsight. None of them knew that Jesus was on His way to death. This is the moment when Jesus became the protagonist.

Without dispute, Jesus was always the main character of the story. John the Baptist said as much, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” The Lord’s entire purpose was spoken in a single sentence by the voice in the wilderness. The focus of the scripture did not alter when Jesus was born. Isaiah wrote of the virgin birth hundreds of years prior. Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

There are no less than 55 Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. The opening scene of the New Testament pictures Simeon refusing to die until he saw what he described as “the consolation of Israel” Luke 2:25.

So much anticipation of the coming Christ and yet so little understanding of the reason. Jesus was always the center. However, the day He set His face to go to Jerusalem a change took place.

It has been written that the protagonist makes key decisions that affect the plot, primarily influencing the story and propelling it forward. It is often the main character who faces the most significant obstacles. Jesus exemplified this in every aspect.

The Lord made the turn in order to fulfill His true purpose: He was the Sacrificial Lamb. Healings, miracles, and wonders were a byproduct of His mercy, but the Cross was His purpose. Luke wrote: “that he should be received up” referring to the separation of body and spirit. Thus, Jesus set His face toward Golgotha to shed His blood; to pay the price. The protagonist is seen in full view as Luke writes, “when the time was come.”

It may be that we come to a similar crossroad, though not in such likeness as the Lord. Ours is the moment of realization of the purpose of our salvation. To be saved and to be a witness, Acts 1:8. We must set our face toward a lost and dying world. It’s time to join the army of soul-winners. Our mission is before us.

There must be a revisit to the Day of Pentecost where people were first filled with the Holy Ghost. The Church began in Acts chapter 2 and it must continue through us. We must set our face toward the purpose of our lives: The Field.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole