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

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