In the last three chapters of Luke’s Gospel, we take a close look at Jesus’ final days and how He approached what must have been the most challenging aspect of His existence here on earth.
Luke 9:51 states that Jesus set out for Jerusalem with determination. By Luke chapter 19 we find those who have opposed Jesus as offended and, more accurately, convicted by the teachings Jesus has shared in the wake of His journey. Whether it was the triumphal entry in to Jerusalem, or the cleansing of the temple, the religious empowered of the day had enough. The camel’s back being broken Jesus destiny was being sealed with every sermon.
In the evenings it seems Jesus went to a place on the mount of olives which overlooked the Temple. Maybe He thought about going home – to be in heaven once again. He certainly thought about the many who would not heed His warnings and invitations.
I’ve sat where He did, but I would never pretend to know the mind of the living Savior. As I sat on the Mount I wondered how so much could be given for so little appreciation. Such a great sacrifice for an often ungrateful and inattentive people. Isaac was going to be sacrificed there, but God provided a substitutionary sacrifice. (Genesis 22:1-19; 2 Chronicles 3:1) Paul would describe that moment as God showing His own grace. (Galatians 3:8) Two thousand years later we find Jesus sitting and facing the temple and resolving to fulfill the promise of mercy made to Abraham. The moment was pending, and the promise was soon to be kept – as all of God’s promises are kept.
The Passover was approaching without coincidence. (Luke 22:1) It may have never been more appropriate for the coming sacrifice than to be made at this moment. The “Year of the Lord’s Favor” had come. (Luke 4:19) As the redemption of man was approaching in the form of a cross, the pinnacle of the journey to redeem man was at hand. The kingdom of God, and the kingdom of darkness are taking their places on the battlefield for human souls and Jesus is leading the battle for the souls of man.
For those who might still wonder – Jesus came to save our souls. I’m not sure how He is still rejected today, but for many He is little more than a consideration, if He is that at all. Jesus faced His task with resolve and dedication, yet so many see faithfulness to Him as little more than a hobby. I hope your faith is stronger than most. May your journey bring you closer to the kingdom and the grace and mercy of our loving Savior. Godspeed on your journey…