First Things First
by Noah Hefley
March 27, 2021
This Sunday is Palm Sunday and we turn our attention to Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We do so, fully aware, and in anticipation of the event which followed on Good Friday in the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross of Calvary. This we do with the greatest expectation of celebration because of the culmination of our faith in the resurrection of Jesus on that first Easter Morning! This is our Good News (Gospel)—our joyful proclamation of Salvation! All of this we will do in the coming days!
But before all this let us consider what Jesus first did for us:
“(Jesus) steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 KJV).
So Jesus resolutely set his face on Calvary as the priority of His ministry. Nothing would interfere or get Him off course. The Greek language stresses the emphatic nature of His internal resolve. It reads literally, “He Himself set His face on Jerusalem.” This was not a passing thought but a steadfast commitment. Three times Luke refers to Jesus making His way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; 13:22; 17:11).
The Greek word for set comes from the word sterizo meaning asupport. This is like a brace or cast used as a support after a break or injury to the ankle or leg which enables it to bend in the right direction. Jesus structured or cast His life around this priority.
Perhaps, Jesus resolved in Himself because He knew there would be things outside Himself which would seek to detract from His purpose. But nothing would cause Jesus to go off course. Jesus kept his face set to Jerusalem until He was able to say to the Father: “I have finished the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
The determination of Jesus should serve to strengthen our own resolve to seek Christ first in our lives. His example should challenge us to stay focused on our walk with Jesus despite life’s worries, difficulties, and distractions. Let us set our face on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Even as Jesus kept first things first—let us always keep Jesus First!
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