I have been consumed recently by one verse in the book of Luke. It has been my constant muse and now it’s the inspiration for this encouragement. Luke 9:51 says this, “And it came to pass, when the time was come for Him to be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.”
I find this so powerful and also incredibly humbling. Christ steadfastly set His face to… die. Wow. But for what? Why would He do that? Because it was the only way. The only way? What does that even mean? It was the only way to bring order to chaos. The divine plan had already been set into motion with the birth Christ, the Son of God had become the Son of Man, and the mission must be completed.
Our world is still reeling from the Fall and suffers daily from the Curse. Dissonance appears to be inevitable. Nothing man has ever done, or ever will do, will be able to restore the world to the bliss and harmony it once experienced in ancient Eden. Our desperate attempts at utopia are constantly thwarted by evil and catastrophe. That’s the macro, but even as we adjust the focus of our lenses to look only at our everyday lives, we see the same patterns on a micro level. Control is always out of reach. The most honest and inevitable conclusion we have to come to is: we need help from an outside source.
Now “fast forward” from the dawn of time to the moment I referenced in Luke. Christ, God incarnate, has a decision that must be made. Assaulted by the temptation of self-preservation that faces all mankind (Heb 4:15), He steeled Himself to the cause. Nothing would stand in His way. He chose the nails.
The only way to restore order was by submerging himself in chaos and death. He who knew no sin became sin. (2 Cor 5:21) It looked like foolishness to the eyes of man, but it was the power of God to those who have tasted of this sweet salvation. (1 Cor 1:19-31) Though we have not yet seen the final outcome, when the Son of God returns and along with Him the new Jerusalem, where sin and death are no more, we eagerly await it knowing that it will be beyond our wildest expectations. There, true utopia will be achieved and we will finally be able to obtain the rest and joy our souls crave.
We have an opportunity to experience some of that, even if it is a very minute portion. How? By choosing to rest and enjoy the Sabbath—which is a foretaste of that which is to come, a time when man and God can commune together and the cares of life can be set aside. Though our striving on earth is not yet complete, we have a glorious future to look forward to. And the rewards of that place will be worth any suffering we may experience along the way.
So, all because “He steadfastly set His face,” and willingly went to His death, we find rest.