Summary: This is what Jesus accomplished at the Cross, He had a firm resolve to do the will of the Father
He Set His Face to Jerusalem
Verse seven states, “I have set my face like a flint.” This is a statement of courage with a firm commitment to accomplish what God had sent Him to do, in spite of all the scorn and hatred heaped upon Him. The Messiah was dedicated to one thing in life – He came to do the will of the Father. His death was not just an event that happened. He achieves that for which He was sent. His face was set like flint knowing that He would be put to death.
There was only care, concern and love in the heart of Jesus, but purpose was etched in His face. Verse six says, “I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” He had set His face and goodness and mercy were united in Him.
In the book of Luke 9:51 we read, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” He could not turn aside from the work that He was called to do at Jerusalem, though none helped him, and every one hindered Him. He was neither confused by thoughts within His mind and soul, nor rendered ashamed by the scorn of others.
Jesus declared his mission in the language of our text, and this ordeal was a declaration that He justified. Look how Jesus was received; He rides into Jerusalem on the beast of burden, they threw palm branches along the way and would have made Him a king, look how easily He could have become a popular leader.
With a little compromise He could have won over the enthusiastic crowd as a religious teacher. All the disciples marveled at His strength of mind and purpose. His relatives sought a very different course for Him. Many in that day would have yielded to the pressure, but Jesus set His face like a flint.
Look at the unworthiness of those who followed Him. He ate bread with the one that betrayed Him and His disciples forsook Him and fled, there were some who said His works were of the devil. It seemed the whole Jewish race conspired to put Him to death.
As Jesus made His way to the cross as our sacrifice think about the bitter things that He tasted. Gethsemane, the betrayal, the false accusation, the mockery; these were just a few of the things that were thrust upon Him; but Jesus stood firm.
Had Jesus pleaded with Pilate, he may have released Him; Legions of angels were ready to rescue Him. Jesus could have come down from the cross. He was not held to the cross by the nails in his hands and feet, but by a love which was stronger than death. He prayed saying, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” But the impossibility lay in His resolve to redeem His people.
Think about the things Jesus encountered, they taunted Him, scoffed Him. They said, “Let us see whether Elias will come to save Him.” The priest said “He says He is the King of Israel.” The thief of the cross said “If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us.”
Strong men have been overcome by such actions, but not so with Jesus. He had set his face like a flint, determined to do the will of the Father, knowing what the outcome would be.
The stress of the cross, the agony of death should have caused Him concern, but for this cause He was sent. The pain, thirst, fever, fainting, desertion, nor death removed Him from his strength of mind. He said, “I have come to do the will of the Father.”
His dedication with purpose is what sustained Him. Even though He was God, He was the son manifested in the flesh to be the sacrificial Lamb, slain before the foundations of the world.
As a man, our Lord’s steadfastness was due to several things. One was because of His divine schooling, verse four states, “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, and that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.”
When Jesus spoke in the temple the Jews marveled saying, “How does He know the letters, having never learned? And Jesus answered them, “My doctrine is not mine but His that sent me.”
Jesus was obedient to His conscious innocence, verse five reveals this, “I gave my back to those that would smite me, my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; and I hid not my face from shame.”
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus talking to some of His disciples stated, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here and watch with me.” Then Jesus went a little father and prayed saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”