Summary: We are going to study those people who were part of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem; Peter, Simon of Cyrene, and Mary Magdalene, etc. We will examine Jesus’ determination to face crucifixion, so that He can reveal God’s love for sinners.
Title: Going to Jerusalem
Text: “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” (Luke 9:51).
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:22-27, 51
Each year thousands of pilgrims make their way to Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem. For many, it fulfills a lifetime dream if they can say, “I walked where Jesus walked.” A journey to Jerusalem can be a rewarding travel experience, especially for Christians.
Today we will begin a spiritual journey to Jerusalem, walking with Jesus through those critical hours surrounding His crucifixion and resurrection. We will carefully observe the individuals we meet along the journey.
For several Sundays we will speak about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and ultimately to the cross. In chapters 9-20 of his gospel, Luke mentions Jesus’ movement toward Jerusalem several times. Luke uses this repetition to signal a decisive turn in Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is what gives meaning to Calvary. When Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem nothing would deter Him from what He had to do. He knew everything that awaited Him there, but He went anyway. He went willingly to the cross and to the tomb; then he rose from the dead and for forty days He was seen by the faithful before He ascended back to heaven where He took His seat at the right hand of the Father.
Listen as I read our scriptures for today; Luke 9:22-27.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
And here is our text for today; verse 51: “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” (Luke 9:51).
Today, we are going to study why Jesus made the journey to Jerusalem. We shall see first that it was an act of courage, because it was a hot spot. He went because His life is an example for us. Second, it was a commitment to God’s will. He was doing the Father’s will; His life would be a willing offering that would redeem mankind. And then the third point is that He would lose His life to find life. He said that we must take up the cross and follow Him; we must do God’s will and give our lives to Him. As we take this journey, through what we are told in the Bible, we will listen to what Jesus taught His disciples along the way.
Note first of all, that when Jesus went to Jerusalem, it was an act of courage.
Jerusalem was a hot spot, as far as Jesus was concerned. He avoided it except for the feast days, because that is where his enemies were. Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life and religion. As such, it was the center of growing animosity to this itinerant Nazarene. Jesus’ decision to “set out for Jerusalem” was a deliberate choice to enter the storm. Jesus demonstrated true courage.
On an earlier occasion when Jesus announced His intention to go to Bethany to the home of Lazarus, the disciples warned Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world” (John 11:8-9).
The city of Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, so He would be entering the danger zone. Don’t miss the word “again.” His disciples warned, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there AGAIN?” He had been there earlier and had been forced to withdraw. But now He returns, and He takes His disciples with Him.
He said that there are twelve hours in the day, and you can’t change that. Because the Father has given the Son work to do, nothing can stop Him. There is a great principle here. God has given to each man a lifework. You can’t extend that for one day any more than you can keep the sun from going down in the afternoon. But, thank God, you are absolutely invincible until your work is done. Nobody, not even Satan, can hinder God’s purpose in your life if you are following Him. To fail to follow Him is dangerous. However, you can go into the danger zone with him and you will not be touched. You will finish your work.