Summary: Nothing could stop Jesus from the cross. It was a rough road with pot holes galore, and obstacles everywhere, but He plowed ahead not looking back.
Robert Fulghum, who became famous for his book All I
Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, has
written another funny book titled, It Was On Fire When I
Lay Down On It. He has officiated at over 1000 weddings
and knows by experience that they are the events that bring
out the ding dong in most everyone involved. They are the
comedies of life, and he writes, "Not that they are intended as
such. But since weddings are high state occasions involving
amateurs under pressure, everything NEVER goes right.
Weddings seem to be magnets for mishap and for whatever
craziness lures in family closets."
He begins his book with this example. When the bride
announced her wedding day the mother literally went bezerk.
She was so delighted she was going to make this the wedding
of the century. It would be a royal wedding fit for a princess.
She had the money and 7 months to work toward the
grandiose goal. I won't bore you with the details, but
everything was engraved, and an 18 piece brass and wind
ensemble was engaged. Cecil B. DeMille could not have
planned a bigger scene. The final hour arrived with a church
packed with people in formal attire. The orchestra was in
place, and candle power equivalent to the Northern Lights
filled the sanctuary. The mother of the bride glowed as she
took her place. Nine chiffon-draped bridesmaids stepped
down the isle, and finally the wedding march thundered, and
all stood to watch the bride.
The bride who was a nervous wreck because of all this
preparation had slipped to the reception hall to eat
something to calm her nerves. She started popping pink,
yellow, and green mints and mixed nuts, and a couple of
shrimp blanketed in bacon, and a cracker piled with liver
pate. When people looked at her they saw a face as white as
her dress. As she walked down the isle she was a living
grenade with the pin pulled out. She was ready to explode,
and that is what she did. There is no nice way to describe it.
She threw up and shot used gourmet goodies all over the
front of the church, hosing two bridesmaids, the groom, a
ring bearer, and the pastor. The bride went limp in her
father's arms, and the groom was so stunned that he sat on
the floor. The mother of the bride fainted. Bridesmaids and
groomsmen with weak stomachs ran for the exists. In the
chaos Fulghum says he is not sure of many details, but the
mother of the bride thought of everything. She had three
video cameras going so that all would be preserved.
Guests were invited to adjourn to the reception hall until
all was cleaned up, and the bride could change into one of the
bridesmaid dresses. Then the wedding was continued. The
mother of the bride wanted it to be a memorable occasion,
and it was. Nobody there will ever forget it. But the bottom
line is, they have been married for 12 years now, and have
three lovely children. This true story illustrates the need for
determination to achieve a goal. There are all kinds of things
that can go wrong in any plan, and you have to be
determined to overcome these obstacles, or you will not
arrive at the goal for which you are aiming.
Our text begins with the announcement that the time had
come for Jesus to be taken up to heaven. He was to finish
His mission on earth and come home to the Father. Unlike
the Prodigal Son who went into the far country to waste his
substance in riotous living, here was a Son who had come
into the far country to save it from riotous living, and to
restore it to the kingdom of God, His Father. It was now
time to achieve this goal, and that meant the cross.
The cross was the only way back to heaven for Jesus that
would open the door to heaven for His bride to follow. If He
chose another route the door would be closed to man, and
Jesus would fail in His mission to be their Savior. The way of
the cross leads home for Christ and His people, and no other
way does. The cross was not one of several options. It was
the only way. As Jesus is the only way to the Father, so the
cross was His only way to the Father that would fulfill His
plan. The cross was the single most important goal Jesus had
to get to in order to be the Savior of the world. The entire
plan of God for man's salvation depended upon Jesus
reaching this goal. Thus, we see the absolutely determined
face of Jesus. I like the KJV here which says, "He steadfastly