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Jesus’ Determination Behind the Cross

Sunday English Service – 20 MAR 22


So, behind the scenes work, not a lot of people are aware of what’s happening behind the scenes. Most people just look at what’s in front of their eyes. And my message today is also about behind the scenes only. The behind the scenes work matters so much. Whenever we see a great achievement, for example, we’re impressed by the achievement itself, and we go, wow, and we appreciate people who do great things, we stand in all of them. But we many times we fail to think, what it took to achieve that. Behind the scenes, what kind of hard work was involved, what kind of grit and determination was involved, what kind of perseverance was involved, how many obstacles they had to cross, and how many temptations they are to avoid and so on. We fail to think many times, we just look on the surface, and we just see the great achievements that people do, and we’re impressed and go, wow. Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors in human history, his invention of the incandescent light bulb, he’s the one who made the light bulb practically work out, others too invented it, and came up with that idea, but he’s the one who made it practically work out and without Edison’s invention of the light bulb, we would not have electricity as we know it today. For example, we could not have the evening service this evening in our church. We take electricity in the night time so for granted nowadays. It’s just part of life. But it was not like that. Somebody said the world slept before Edison. And since Edison he has never slept, because he’s the one who made electricity workout practically, or helped to do that, and his invention is called as the greatest invention since manmade fire and so on. 

But I’m not here to speak about Edison’s achievement. But I just bring up Edison as an example, because you look at what is behind the scenes, they say he tried 1000s of times and failed 1000s of times and failed, and never gave up. And that’s how he ended up inventing that light bulb and many other inventions. But as I said, Edison is not the topic today. I’m here to talk about the greatest achievement in the history of the world, not Edison’s, what is the greatest achievement in the history of the world? Jesus dying and rising again. And through that purchasing salvation for mankind. That is the greatest achievement. Yeah, light is wonderful. Being able to do things after dark is wonderful. And God for Edison, but thank God more for Jesus Christ, nothing, no other what achievement can compare with this, nothing can compare with it. Jesus suffered and died on the cross rose again, and through that three salvation for now and for eternity is offered to all of mankind. How can you beat that? There is no greater achievement. And we know that’s true. And we say amen to that. But I don’t know how many of us realize how much grit and determination was behind Jesus going to the cross. We think sometimes we just kind of assume that it just happened just like that. We don’t think that Jesus determined to solve that, and made a firm decision, then persevered in that decision, we don’t often think in those terms. But if you think about it, that’s how it must have happened because Jesus was not only God, but he was also man. Yes, Jesus is fully God and fully man, and he was tempted in every way as we are. That’s what Hebrews 4:15 says. Many times we just ignore that verse. He was tempted in every way as we are yet without sin. Every day every way. Just think about that, tempted in every way, yet without sin. As a man he was tempted. He was things tried to draw him, obstacles tried to stop him, just tempted in every way as we are yet without sin. 

So if you think about it carefully, and not just superficially, you realize that behind this greatest achievement of suffering and dying on the cross and rising again, purchasing salvation through that, behind that must have been the greatest determination. The greatest decision, the greatest perseverance, perseverance of that decision, the greatest mental fortitude. And that’s how the Bible teaches. That’s how the Bible presents Jesus’s road to the cross. That’s what we’re going to look at today. What we’re going to see today is the decision behind the cross, Jesus’s determination behind the cross. And I wanted to speak about this today, because my father is not in, just for this week, he’ll be back resuming his series next week. So I just got one week here. And I thought it would be appropriate being in the Lent season, we’re approaching Good Friday and Easter to approach it in the right way. And that’s why I want to talk about this today. Because you don’t approach the cross as something that just happened like that automatically. We think like that, Jesus just went to the cross. Yeah. I mean, he’s Jesus, he can do it. No. Yeah, he’s Jesus, and he’s not like us in the sense that he’s God. But he’s also like us in the sense that he is man, and like us he was tempted, and things tried to stop him, and he had to make firm decisions to go to the cross. He had to remain persevering, and so on. And so that’s why I wanted to talk about this today. And let me give you another reason why I believe that we as Christians should look at every detail of Jesus’s life, every detail, not just the cross and resurrection, the things leading up to the cross, the life of Jesus, how he approached his mission, all every little detail and aspect in the life of Jesus deserves our attention as Christians. 

And I believe that if you will look at this aspect, this behind the scenes aspect. Today, we’re not going to look at mainly what happened on the cross, what Jesus did on the cross, what he bore on the cross, what we benefit, how we benefit as a result. No, we’re not going to look at all, no. Behind the scenes, the road to the cross, the decision that was involved behind Jesus going to the cross, the determination that he had, the decision he took, the determination he had and how he persevered. That’s what we’re looking at today. And I believe that if you will pay attention to this with me today, I believe you will have three benefits. One is you will be amazed, first of all, by Jesus’s decision or determination behind the cross, you will be amazed. And it’s a good thing to be amazed. Because when you are amazed more and more by who Jesus is and what He has done, you will worship him more meaningfully, meaningfully. Worship, what is worship, just coming and clapping your hands and just saying I worship you. No, true worship is from the heart, true worship is where you from the depths of your being are in all of this person. And you can’t help but praise Him. That’s worship. Everything else is not true or meaningful worship. And so the true worship of Jesus comes when you are more and more in awe of Jesus. And trust me, there’s no person you can be in awe of more than Jesus. So one thing is you’ll be amazed. I see that as a good thing, amazed by who? Amazed by Jesus. Secondly, you will worship Jesus more as a result, meaningfully. And you may wonder, well, is there nothing in it for me, to be amazed and worship Jesus, that’s it. Even if that was it is, it’s still good, but there is something in it for you. The beauty is, the more you worship Jesus meaningfully, the more you will become like him. I don’t know if you’ve heard this statement, we become what we worship. You heard of that, we become who we worship, whatever we worship, that’s what we become like. Who does the little child worship? The little child worships the hero in the cartoons of Superman. He is standing in all of that hero character, he goes wow, he’s talking highly of him, he is praising him. Seeing that. Worship is not only done in the church, worship is done everywhere in every home, in every heart, everybody’s worshiping something, that little child is worshipping that hero in the in the cartoons over Superman or whatever. 

And then soon enough, if he keep looking, if he keeps looking at that hero, he will start behaving like that hero. He tries to do what that hero does. Nobody told him to do it. You’ll be become what you worship. You become who you worship. And that’s what you get out of it. You will be amazed by Jesus, you will worship Jesus more. And if you keep this up long term, you will become more and more like Jesus. This is the way of Christian transformation. This transformation is centered on Christ. Christ is the center of Christian transformation. Christ is the goal of Christian transformation. A Christian wants to be transformed to become more and more like Christ. How do you get from where you are to become more and more like Christ by admiring Jesus, by focusing on Jesus, so that the more you look at them, and the more you stand in awe of him, the more you become like Him, He inspires you. 2 Corinthians 3:18, I mean, I’m not going to read it. But if you if you want to verse, as we see the glory of Jesus, we will be transformed from glory into glory, we see the glory of Jesus through the scriptures. Anyway, you don’t — If I have complicated things, just think about the Superman example. The kid becoming like Superman, that’s it. You want to become like Jesus more, I want to become like Jesus more. I know, we’re not Jesus, but we are called to be more and more like him. The Christian way to do that. The Christian, the Christ centered way to do that is to see Christ. And so today, my goal is to show you Christ. That’s my goal. For the rest of the message, I want to show you, Jesus, and how he decided determined to go to the cross. And what I was involved in that. I want to show you, Jesus, unfortunately, I’m not going to talk about you or me, unfortunately, I’m not going to do a lot of application to your life. I’m sorry about that. 

I’m not going to do it, because I don’t have time. Otherwise, you’ll have to skip your lunch. And another thing is, I really believe that in the time I have, if I can show you Jesus, if you can just stand in awe of him, the Holy Spirit will lead you to apply what you see in Jesus to your life. Okay, usually in preaching application is essential. You have to have application in preaching they teach it in homiletics class. In preaching after application, but today is an exception. Because I’m going to show you, Jesus, that’s all I have time for. May the Holy Spirit help you apply what you see in Jesus to your life. And let me say as a disclaimer, also, everything Jesus did, you can do. You’re not called to go to the cross. So apply with discernment, and wisdom. Now, the way we’re going to do this way I’m going to show you Jesus is let’s have a three-part outline. Here’s the outline for today’s message. First, I’m going to show you that the Bible teaches that there was a determination or a decision making behind the cross. Before Jesus went to the cross, much before Jesus went to the cross, there was a firm decision made by Jesus, He determined to go to the cross. And the Bible teaches this. I’m going to show you from Luke chapter nine, verse 51. That’s what I’m going to do first. Secondly, I’m going to talk about the obstacles and the temptations that Jesus faced while making this decision to go to the cross. There were obstacles, temptations that were trying to get in the way. And he had to make that decision and go. Thirdly, I want to talk about what motivated Jesus, what motivated Jesus to make the decision to go to the cross and to persevere in that decision. Okay, three things show you this is the Bible teaching, and then obstacles and then motivation of Jesus.

First, let’s begin Luke 9:51. The Bible teaches very clearly, this picture that Jesus didn’t walk casually to the cross, there was some firm decision making involve determination, and Jesus had to determine to go to the cross, otherwise it would not have happened. And we can show it in many ways from many places in the Bible. For example, the obvious one is Gethsemane, the Garden of Gethsemane. You can see Jesus making that decision there. It’s obvious. On the one hand, he says, if it is possible let this cup depart. But then on the other hand immediately he says, not my will but yours be done. He makes that decision, there’s a firm decision, he gets up and he goes, so Gethsemane is the obvious place.

But not only Gethsemane, you think a decision like that sprung up out of nowhere in the Garden of Gethsemane overnight? No, it was in the making for a long time, he had already made the decision to go to the cross earlier in his ministry, and that’s what I want to focus on today. Luke 9:51, most people know about Gethsemane, they’re aware of that. But I want to go behind that behind the scenes. Luke 9:51, much earlier in the ministry of Jesus, this is where he makes this decision. When the day’s new drew near for him to be taken up, Luke 9:51, when the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Look at that verse carefully, when the days drew near for him to be taken up, it’s referring to His ascension. Actually, the days has not have not come very near, but it’s come nearer. This is maybe in the third year of Jesus’s ministry. So, when the days drew near, and immediately luke, puts it in the context of the ascension, and that’s another sermon altogether. But what I want you to focus on is when this time came, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Look at that those words, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. That’s the ESV translation, the New King James, and the King James, I think says he steadfastly set his face. Now, what does that mean? Does it mean he set his face, meaning, He set his face to Jerusalem? That’s what it means. What does that mean? He steadfastly set, this face means does that mean he was looking somewhere else, and then he turned, looked at Jerusalem and kept looking never turned back? Is that what it mean? What is it trying to say? How should we understand that phrase there? He set his face toward Jerusalem. What’s happening here is, this is a Jewish idiom. You know what idioms are. We have idioms in every language, like so in English, for example. Don’t beat around the bush. 

Now, if you take that statement literally, you will think I’m saying don’t go beating around the bush. But that’s not what it means. People will know the English language, people are familiar know that that phrase taken together, beat around the bush means get to the point. Don’t avoid the point, don’t be going in circles. So, for example, they’ll say, when the reporter asked the question to the politician, the politician kept beating around the bush, he avoided answering the question, that’s what it means. Native speakers of the English language are those who are comfortable enough in English, they know that’s what it means. There are many examples of English idioms and there are idioms in every language. So the point with the idiom is you cannot take it literally, if you take it literally, you will totally misunderstand it. This here, he set his face toward Jerusalem is a Jewish idiom that those words set his face to that’s a Jewish idiom, which means not he looked at Jerusalem. Never, not just that, is much more than that. It means to make a firm decision to decide firmly. Literally, it is to fix one’s face set one’s face to something, but what it really means is to make a firm decision that you will do something or go somewhere in this case, go to Jerusalem. He makes a firm decision. Everybody say firm decision, or determination. Determination and that’s what you see in the many English translations. That’s how they translated many translations. The non literal translations, like the even the literal NASB, New American Standard, says he was determined to go to Jerusalem, and the non literal translations like the NLT New Living Translation, says Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. See that what resolutely set out for Jerusalem, the NIV says the same thing. 

So all these translations can be wrong. But even the Old Testament itself prophesize that there will come a time when Jesus will make a firm decision, and literally, or idiomatically set this face and go toward the cross. Let’s go to Isaiah 57. What we’re saying is the meaning is Jesus made a firm decision to go to Jerusalem. Jerusalem means what is there in Jerusalem. He is going to suffer and die on a cross in Jerusalem. That’s what’s going to happen in Jerusalem. He made a firm decision to go to the cross, Isaiah, chapter 50, verse 7, 800 years before Jesus ever came into this world. Isaiah prophesies every little detail about Jesus’s life and ministry, where he will be born, where he will do ministry, how we will do ministry, how we will suffer, how he will die, and even this little detail how Jesus will set his face, or make that firm decision to suffer. Isaiah 50 verse 7, but the Lord God helps me therefore I have not been disgraced, therefore I have set my face like a flint. That is a hard rock. And I know that I shall not be put to shame. See what he’s saying? This is about Jesus. Isaiah 50 verse 7 is about Jesus. How do I know? The previous verses about Jesus? You look at the previous verse, it talks about his suffering, again, my back to those who strike, my cheeks to those who pull out the beard, I hit not my face from disgrace and spitting. How Jesus suffered on the cross. It’s talking about Jesus, and it’s a prophecy about Jesus. And then verse seven says, So verse six talks about how terrible his suffering will be. But verse seven says, but the Lord God helps me therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore, I’ve set my face like a flint, Jesus is saying, because God is with me, I’ll go through this suffering, I’ll not turn back. I’ll make a firm decision set my face like a hard rock, immovable rock and proceed and finished God’s purpose for my life. This is the Messiah talking. Isaiah 57 is not about you or me, it’s about the Messiah. 

Okay, so Isaiah prophesied Luke 9:51 is the fulfillment. And so don’t just look at Luke 9:51 in a casual way, it is a very important point, turning point in the Gospel of Luke, up unto this point, Jesus has been focusing his ministry in Galilee, in the Galilee region and surrounding regions. And he’s been having great success. Will talk about that later. Great success so far. But now comes an important turning point. When the days came for him to be taken up when the time came, he made a firm decision to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Think about what lies behind the firm decision, do you take a firm decision casually without much thought? No. Like suppose you make a decision to move your home, go from this home to that home? What a big decision that is how much thought you will put into it, how many options you will weigh, how you will think about what will happen if you go there, how many obstacles you will think about everything you will research everything, you will think about everything, the obstacles that could come if you go there, the problems, the advantages, the disadvantages, you’ll think about everything only and make a firm decision comes after much thought, reflection, and then the decision. 

Similarly, it must have been like that for Jesus. It’s a firm decision. Again, it’s that Hebrew idiom for making a firm decision and not turning back. What was behind that decision? What all was involved in that decision. Let’s go to the second part of the message. The second part is where I want to talk about obstacles temptations. Jesus had to overcome several obstacles, temptations in making this decision itself. Forget about Gethsemane that was to come later on, Gethsemane is in Luke chapter 22, we are much before Gethsemane. Here itself, he has obstacles and temptations to overcome. Now think about it. Again, I said to you, if there is a firm decision to be made, then automatically you know there are obstacles or temptations involved. Yes. Firm decision. Like this, a simple example, sometimes our resolution, maybe a better word in English. Get this point home. We make New Year’s resolutions. Resolution is a firm decision. And one of the resolutions Christians often make is from this year, I’m going to read Bible more. They resolve to read the Bible more, how many obstacles are there just to keep us from reading the Bible. Because there are obstacles only we feel like we have to make a firm decision otherwise why firm decision, decide and go that’s it. Decide and do it’s not a big deal. You want to go somewhere and there’s no obstacle stopping you. There’s nothing stopping you just go there. But when it’s not as simple as that, when there are several obstacles in the way, when there are several temptations driving you each side. That’s when you got to stop and make a firm decision, that’s when you got to set your face to do something to go somewhere. So the very fact that the Scriptures teach that Jesus had to set his face, Jesus, the very fact that he set his face, or made a firm decision to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die, reveals that he overcame obstacles temptations and made that decision. 

Now, let me talk about some specific obstacles, temptations. I’m talking about obstacles and temptations he would have faced in Luke chapter nine itself, not in Gethsemane alone. Luke nine itself, early on, one obstacle is I think, Jesus knew what was going to happen in Jerusalem, he knew the suffering and shame that awaited him in Jerusalem. And that knowledge itself would have been a hindrance for him. That foreknowledge itself, knowing what is going to happen in Jerusalem, who is going to suffer and die horribly, shamefully in Jerusalem that itself would have tried to hinder him, the knowledge itself would have acted as a obstacle or a hindrance. You know what I mean? Like  if you know there is a great danger, if you go on a particular path, you take this road, and there is a breakdown on the road, if you know that you won’t take that road. If you know there is a danger on a path, you won’t go on that path. Sometimes we make decisions. One of the things I’m not doing today is not making obligation, I’m sorry, like I said, a lot of us are one decision away from a more victorious life. A lot of us are just simply one decision away. Sometimes we make decisions without knowing what’s going to happen. How many times I’ve done that, without knowing what’s going to happen, we make a decision. And then we find out oh, my goodness, so many problems, so many obstacles. And then some of us will say, Oh, I didn’t know that’s going to happen. I don’t know it’s going to be so complicated. I don’t know there’s going to be like this. And then we pull back, we drop back. We take back our decision, you know what I’m talking about. So we decide great things without knowing what’s going to happen. But when we know what happens, then we pull back and draw back, Jesus decided to go through with the greatest, most horrible suffering and pain, knowing what will happen, he decided to go to Jerusalem knowing that he will have to face the worst suffering and shame. Knowing full well he set his face toward Jerusalem. Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. I think I need to say this in this season sometimes we have good Friday approaching, people will talk about the cross that may come up in topics and people will say sometimes they will give the impression poor for Jesus, he was living such a good life, amazing teaching, did amazing things to help people. He was minding his own business and they just these religious, Jewish religious leaders, so jealous of him, caught him and conspired handed him over to the Romans, who in their brutality crucified Jesus, whose to blame? Is the jealousy of the Jewish religious leaders. It’s the brutality of the Romans. Poor Jesus, he was caught between the two, oh this Jesus is not so poor. No, no. He was not minding his own business and just got caught accidentally No. he walked into the lion’s mouth. That’s literally what he did, go to Jerusalem, he set his face to go to Jerusalem means he literally worked to the place where he knows this, he knows about their jealousy he knows about this was brutality. And he knows beyond that, he’s going to drink from the cup of the wrath of God himself. The cup that he’s talking about in Gethsemane if you look at it, in light of the Old Testament, background is the wrath of God itself. But he is not so poor. He’s not — shall we say, oh he doesn’t know what’s happening, he knows full well, and he still goes to the cross. I don’t have time to give you read many verses. But in our same chapter, Luke nine, you can see that he knows very well before making this decision what’s going to happen in Jerusalem. Luke, chapter nine, verse 21. So quickly, I’ll just show these references and we’ll move to the next point. Luke nine verse 21. What’s happening there is, Peter confesses Jesus as the Messiah as the Christ. Jesus asks his disciples remember, who do you say that I am? Peter says, you are the Christ. After that confession, Jesus calls disciples and he says this in verse 21. 

He strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one. He says, don’t tell this to anybody, because time is not yet come. I got to go to Jerusalem first. So don’t tell anybody then verse 22, he tells them, look at this. The son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day, be raised. Look how detailed Jesus is aware of what’s going to happen to him. Look at the level of detail he goes to, he says he must suffer many things and he must be rejected by the elders, the chief priest, the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. And in other places, he predicts the crucifixion as Moses lifted up the staff up and saw the son of man will be lifted up and so on, but keep looking in our or chapter verse 23, he uses the word cross there in his teaching verse 23. If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross. He’s using the word cross in his teaching. You think he didn’t think about his own cross? He knows full well. Verse 28, we have the mount of transfiguration. I’m just talking about the events leading up to verse 51 which is that important turning point, Jesus making that firm decision. So verse 28, what’s happening here is the mount of transfiguration. We know Jesus and his three disciples went up the Mount and he was transfigured. He’s shown like the sun. What a sight shining as bright as the sun and Moses and Elijah also are appeared there. Verse 30 tells us and Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus. I mean, think about the glory of that situation there. Jesus shining like the sun and even Moses and Elijah are appearing gloriously. I mean, there’s a lot of glory light, and they’re talking. I would’ve liked to have been Peter James or John right there talking, what were they talking about, verse 31. They were talking about how he spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. What were they talking about? They were talking about the departure of Jesus, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. How will he accomplish at Jerusalem by dying and then rising again and then departing to heaven. Come down to verse 43.

You hear the context is Jesus has just healed that boy with an unclean spirit, his disciples couldn’t do it. He did it. And people are amazed. And as the people are amazed, Jesus says this in verse 43, all were astonished at the majesty of God, but while they were all marveling at everything, he was doing Jesus at his disciples. Let these words sink into your ears, the son of man is about to be delivered into the hands of men. Everybody’s thinking about the miracle that just happened and they’re amazed by it but Jesus calls us disciples and says, he listened to these words. I’m about to be delivered into the hands of men. What I’m trying to say is Jesus is thinking about the cross. Jesus is thinking about his suffering in Jerusalem. All the way leading up to verse 51. When it says he set his face to Jerusalem, he did it knowing full well what he was going to face there. The horrible suffering and shame and pain that he was going to face. That’s one obstacle. The knowledge itself would’ve been a hindrance, but he overcame that.

Another obstacle or temptation he would’ve faced in making this decision, his own natural human tendency to shrink back from suffering and shame and death, his own natural human tendency to shrink back or to avoid or to run away from suffering and death. Jesus is fully human and not just fully God, he too had a natural tendency that wanted to avoid suffering and shame, stay away from it. And when he made the decision to go to Jerusalem, to suffer and die, he had to fight against every natural human instinct, which wants run away from suffering and death. Think about it, was Jesus fully human? You believe he was human? You really believe that? Unbelievers are guilty of not believing in the duty of Jesus. The divinity of Jesus. Unfortunately, Christians are often guilty of not believing the humanity of Jesus as much should. Cause we think, if you just think Jesus is God, that is honoring him. No, that’s not believing the truth. The Bible teaches he is fully God and fully man, a hundred percent God, a hundred percent, man, you got to believe both. You got to keep both you, you got to apply both. Jesus was really human. He got hungry just like you and me. He needed to sleep just like you and me. He cried. He was sorrowful sometimes. He rejoiced sometimes. He was human. When they flogged him, it, he experienced pain. That was real pain. When his blood came out on the cross, was that real blood or was that just — it was real, it is a real human with flesh and blood experiencing what real humans experience. And if you admit that he’s a real human, then he had a natural tendency like every other human, what kind of tendency? A tendency that wants to avoid suffering and shame, a tendency that wants to stay away, run away from it. That’s the strong instinct in every one of us. It’s a natural instinct. We want to live, not die. And we want to live well, not suffer. That’s a God-given instinct. That’s not wrong. God himself put it. We were born with it. If you know, this path will lead to suffering or death, we want to run away from it. Why? It’s not sinful or something. It’s a God-given instinct to want to live and to live well and not die and so on. And because Jesus was human. He too had this natural instinct. I know he had it. I’m sure he had it because you look at the garden of Gethsemane. That’s where you can see it obviously, you can see that instinct pulling him in one direction. If it’s possible, let this cup depart. He says father — three hour, he prayed. I mean, think about this. Jesus. You read the accounts of Gethsemane, how he fell. Matthew, I think he says, he fell on his knee and prayed. He was in agony. Was that real? Or was that Chama as they say. It was real, my friend, it was that natural instinct telling him, run away from this. You don’t need this. You don’t want this. This is the worst thing you can do. Get away. Look after yourself. Survive. The instinct of survival was there. 

Gethsemane looks like there was a real battle, a real mental battle within Jesus and this human tendency is pulling him on one side. But then he, again, and again says, never the less, not my will, but yours be done, three times. And then he gets a, and then he goes on. But Gethsemane represents the climax of that. The climax of this inner battle inside of Jesus before going to the cross. But before itself, the battle would’ve started. And that is why he had to make a firm decision back in Luke 9:51 saying, I will go here yet to overcome that natural human instinct. Another obstacle in Luke nine, there are many obstacles. I’m just talking about obstacles in Luke nine when he had to set his face. Another obstacle is this, at the time Luke nine is written, Luke 9:51 is talking about when Jesus was focusing on ministry in Galilee. When that was happening, when he set his face to go to Jerusalem, he actually was experiencing great success in Galilee already by this point, Jesus was tremendously successful. Ministry was a super success. By this point in Luke 9:51, he already had great success in ministry, already he had done spectacular miracles. For example, he had already healed lepers. He had fed the 5,000. He had calm the storm. He had raised the widow son from the dead. I mean, think about those miracles. And these miracles brought great crowds to Jesus. And when they came, he preached beautifully. Nobody did miracles like him. Nobody preached like him. The sermon on the Mount for example happened before Luke nine, people staying for days, listening to his sermon, think about the success of his ministry at that point in Galilee, in Galilee, there’s not too much trouble. There is trouble. There is, these fellows are — the Pharisees are just irritating him and all that, but it’s not like Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem is where all the big leaders are both Jewish and Roman appointed like Pirate and so on. Galilee is a quite a safe and comfortable place to be in. And he is experiencing great success, spectacular miracles, amazing teaching, large crowds. That’s what people think of when they think successful ministry. And in terms of disciples, he had a lot of disciples, not only the 12, he had 72 or 70 that he sent out in the next chapter, Luke 10, he sends out his 70. They were all following him. Apart from that, he had more disciples. Luke chapter eight tells us he had a big ministry team that was financed quite well. You read the first nine chapters of Luke. And then you come to 9:51. And you see him say, he set his face to go to Jerusalem and you have to ask yourself, will a person do that? Will a person leaves great success? I mean, when you’re experiencing great success, you don’t want to let it go. You don’t want to let it go. Think about how that would have tempted Jesus. You think it would have tempted him? Yes, I do think it would have tempted him. You know why? Because he was human. If it didn’t count for nothing to him, if it did just not an issue at all, then why should he set his face? Will anybody leave her great successful business or ministry and just go to lose that temporarily. If he goes to Jerusalem, he can’t do miracles there. He can’t do teaching Sermon on the Mount, nothing. He will be arrested, spit upon, flogged, crown of thorns put on him, dragged to the cross nailed to the cross, and hung in shame on the cross. That’s what will happen. And when he’s hanging on the cross, no crowds, forget about crowds, his one disciples abandoned him. His top disciple denied him three times, cursing him. Jesus knows everything is coming. 

If he leaves this and goes, all this is coming, yet he leaves it and will you — do you? I mean, stop and think about how that would have tempted him to stay. Let me say this, I say this with reverence Jesus would have experienced the pull of temptation, more than any other preacher who ever lived, or can ever live. You know why I say that people think, oh, we are tempted but Jesus is not tempted like us. They think for him, it was easy, for him it was light and it was just a breeze. No, it was not. The one who resists temptation the most experiences the full power of it. We think we only experience more temptation, wrong. Those who resist temptation more and longer and don’t give in are the ones who actually experience the full force of temptation. Give you an example, in a boxing match that are 15 rounds. So we’re like the people who last for one or two or three or four or five rounds, then we got knocked out in the sixth round.  Sin is tempting us, drawing us, we say no, then it does it again. Second round, we say no, third round, we say no, fourth round and then fifth round knockout. And some of us are better than others. And some of us last till the maybe the eighth round or the ninth round. But Jesus lasted for 15 rounds, never fell. He was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin. Now think about what that means. He would have got more blows from temptation  because he stayed for the 15 rounds. It tried it the first time the second time, the fifth time it worked on us, but it didn’t work on him, the eighth time it worked on the best people the 10th time maybe the best people but nobody got past that 11 and 12. But Jesus got past it. The temptation tried to draw him and he said no, no, no, no. And he refused to fall all the way to the end he experienced more temptation yet without sin. Experience the full of it, the draw of it, the force of it. More than any other preacher. No preacher would leave a successful ministry and go somewhere else. I mean, usually it wouldn’t happen. But you cannot compare any other preacher to Jeor any other person to Jesus any missionary or anything because he would have experienced the pull more. Another thing I’ll say he experienced more success than any other preacher. I mean who did the miracles like Jesus did. Any other preacher did it? Who preached like him, who had crowds, he just enraptured in listening to him?

Nobody who received the praise of people like Jesus, nobody. I mean, if you look at this verse 53 itself in our chapter, Luke nine, you can see that the crowds are amazed by Jesus. I mean when crowds applaud you, and approve of you, and say good things to you, you feel really good. Let’s be honest. You feel really good. And when somebody leaves a bad comment, you feel terrible. One bad comment can just make us feel terrible. And social media is so easy to do, you just you go you don’t know the person just say something horrible about them and keep going. Without realizing how much it hurts them and so on. On the flip side, approval by people makes us feel so just one word, or you did so good. Just feel like you’ve gone to heaven. We’ve felt nothing compared to Jesus. I mean, he got more approval from the mass crowd more applause more praise. Yeah, he was disapproved by those Pharisees. But oh, boy, he had the mass approval in Galilee. He knows he leaves it. He’s going to lose all of it. He was a man that only God, I said you again, he was a man, and he would have been tempted. And yet he goes, he knows if he goes, the crowds are gone. Everything is gone. What’s in Jerusalem is suffering and shame and death. And yet he goes that’s three obstacles, three temptations. There are more, but let’s leave that. Let’s think about why he went, how could he have overcome these obstacles and temptations? How, what motivated him? Let’s go to the third part of the message. What motivated Jesus to make a firm decision, overcome these obstacles, temptations go to the cross? There are several motivations not. 

So as we think what motivated Jesus, we are prone to think, oh, Jesus loved me. And that’s what motivated him. I’m sorry to say that’s only one of the motivations. There are several motivations that motivated Jesus to go to the cross. And I want to give you some of them. And I probably believe there are more. I don’t know, right. But let me give you many such motivations, things that motivated Jesus. We’re always looking for motivation today. But have you ever wondered what motivated Jesus what drove him to the cross to fulfill His mission? First motivation, a clear sense of calling and purpose, a clear sense of calling and purpose. The beauty about Jesus one of the things is, he had such a clear sense of calling and purpose from the get go. Think about him as a 12-year-old boy, in the temple. You remember that incident? In Luke chapter two, his parents leave him his mother, shall we say, leave him, leaves him in the temple. And they come back three days later, looking for him in there. And Mary looks at Jesus and says, your father and I have been looking for you. Those are the words exact words, go read it yourself. And Jesus replies, very, almost cheekily, and forcefully. Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business. His mother said, your father and I meaning Joseph and I have been looking for you. He said, No, no, he’s my father. Don’t you know I’m about his business? Well, do you expect that kind of reply from a 12-year-old boy, I mean, that’s just from the beginning, he was clear who he was, who God is to him, he is his father, why he is come to do His will, His business, the father’s business was his business. That is why he came into this world. It’s clear. And you can see this several times My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, he said. Mark, chapter 10, verse 45, he said again, again, he would state his mission in various ways and forms. In Mark 10:45. He says, for even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many

It is clear why he has come not to be served but to serve. Sometimes people have asked me that why you pray saying, Oh God, minister to your people? Shouldn’t we be the ones ministering to him? You’re praying God must ministered to us. Well, yeah, we should minister to him. But look what Jesus said, I did not come to serve or to be ministered. In Tamil, it comes out as [Tamil 00:50:18] that word which we use for ministry, ministry is to serve. I did not come to be served but to serve. And how does he serve? He serves by giving his life as a ransom for many. If Jesus does not serve us, we can never serve him. Forget about it, you can stand upside down to minister to me if he does not first minister to you know, no hope. The good news is he ministers to us. He did it on the cross by giving his life as a ransom for many. He still ministers from heaven by giving eternal life to all who desire it. He ministers to us, He came to serve, he knew why he came not to be served, but to serve, to go to the cross give his life as a ransom, he had a clear sense of calling and purpose. Many times today, people don’t make a decision because they don’t have clarity. They don’t know whether this is what God has called them for they just going between this and that, trying this a little bit trying that a little bit, no firm decision. Why? They don’t have a clear sense of calling and purpose, May God lead you to have a clearer sense of calling and purpose for your life. Because when you do that will drive you. That’s one of the things that drove Jesus, there were there were people and distractions trying to pull him from this side to that side, Peter himself one point said, Lord, you should not go to Jerusalem and suffer and die. He is that you get behind me, Satan, I know what I’m doing. I know why I am called. I know my purpose. I know my mission, you keep quiet, clear sense of calling and mission and purpose drove him.

Another motivation of Jesus, what motivated Jesus is knowledge, knowing that the ending was good, that motivated Jesus, knowing that the ending was good, when you know that the suffering or whatever hardship has a good ending, you will be motivated to go through with it. But you got to know, you’re watching a movie. It’s a scary scene. And sometimes people say, I don’t want to watch beyond this, something bad happens. And people say, I don’t think I want to see beyond this. Why they don’t want to see beyond this is because they’re not sure how it’s going to end. They don’t know the ending. Because nowadays, there are some movies, they have a bad ending, purposely to surprise you. They shock you by having a bad ending. And so you don’t want to see that. You don’t want to see the end badly. And so you back off. But if you know the ending already, imagine you see the ending of the movie first itself. You don’t do that. But if you see it, and if you know it. And if we then what happens, even if something bad happens, it’ll get past this and it’ll get good and it’ll end good that Jesus knew the ending of the cross. It doesn’t end by the cross, but it goes to the third day where rises again from the dead, he knows that he’s going to be victorious. He knows he’s going to rise again. He knows he’s going to ascend to the heavens, he knows he’s going to be exalted at the Father’s right hand. He knows he is going to offer salvation, free for all who desire it. He knows the scores in the countless millions will be saved. He knows the New Kingdom, the new heavens and the earth to come. He knows that he will live with us wherever, he knows that he sees the end, he knows it.

There are so many verses, but no time to read it. Some verses will read Luke 9:22. I’m not going to read it. But in our same chapter, you will see that he talks about him being raised again, not just his suffering, but the resurrection He predicts. So many times he predicted. And our verse itself puts his going to Jerusalem in the context of his resurrection and ascension. When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Or think, or look at Luke 9:26, our chapter itself. I’m giving a lot of verses in our chapter so you don’t have to turn much. Luke 9:26, for whoever is ashamed of me and my words of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels? Jesus sees so far beyond the cross. It’s amazing. He sees His resurrection, His ascension, his glorification exaltation, and he sees the Second Coming, the Son of Man will come in his glory, He sees the glory of that second coming. He will come with the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels in that big, there’ll be a glorious sight. Jesus experienced shame on the cross, but he knows the shame is not going to last forever. He knows glory is coming after that. So knowing the future, knowing the ending, enabled him to make that firm decision at that point and endure that suffering, knowing the ending, enable them to make the decision and persevere with the decision. 

The Bible actually teaches this Hebrews chapter 12, verse two, Hebrews 12, verse two, we can turn that I think is good for you to turn there, if you have a Bible. It’s an important verse, Hebrews 12:2 the long range view is very important. Only having a long range view will help you live your present life successfully. I’ll give you a silly little example. But some people drive — when you drive the car, or whatever vehicle you’re driving in, you need to look a little bit ahead, not just look at the vehicle in front of you alone. You look beyond that. If somebody hits the brake, there you want to know a little bit in advance, not just when the fellow in front of you, but there are some people who drive I’ve seen hands on the wheel, head up like this, just looking like this, you can tell they’re just looking closely. And the knowledge because they have to make these sudden changes. They don’t have that long range view, you’ll get the trouble driving like that. When you have the long range view, you’re able to drive better. It’s like that when you have a long range view of life, you can go through your present difficulties better.

Forget about my example. Look at Hebrews 12 verse two. This is actually the Bible. The Bible teaches us that this is one of the ways Jesus endured the suffering of the cross by seeing beyond it. He didn’t look at the suffering and endure the suffering. He didn’t focus too much on the shame and endure the shame but rather he looked beyond the suffering beyond the shame beyond the death. And what comes after that. Look, Hebrews 12 Verse two, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. Look at that statement. Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. There are two negative things then that was cross and shame. Notice Jesus doesn’t pay too much attention to that. He only endures the cross, he doesn’t focus on the cross. He only a despises the shame. He doesn’t think much of a despised means to not [Tamil 00:58:08] not count it as great, despised it, not a teammate. Yeah, he knows he’s going to suffer utter shame hang naked on the cross, almost naked on the cross. He knows that but if but he despises it. He doesn’t think much of it. What does he think much of the joy that was set before him, the joy, that future joy, the joy that was set before Him. He knows after he suffers and dies and rises again. And after salvation is preached and the gospel is preached, people are going to be saved. He knows we are going to rejoice, we are going to get a joy and that’s going to make him joyful. And not only that he knows the father is going to be joyful that the plan of salvation is accomplished. And that’s going to make him joyful. He knows there is joy all around in the future beyond the suffering beyond the shame, he sees that and in light of that he looks at the shame and says not as bad as it looks. He endures the cross. He doesn’t embrace the cross. He embraces the joy endures the cross. 

If he had thought only about his suffering, if he had thought only about his flogging, if he had thought only about his crown of thorns, and if he had thought only about this, this and that and just all that suffering and shame and death, he would not have been able to go through with it. Hebrews 12:2 says for this joy only endured the cross despising the shame. Isaiah 53 Verse 11. Isaiah 53 is a beautiful chapter giving us details about how Jesus will suffer and look what it says in 53:11, out of the anguish of his soul, he shall see and be satisfied. Out of the anguish of his soul, he shall see and be — that is, in the midst of anguish, agony of his soul on the cross, he shall see and be satisfied. Satisfied with what? What comes out of it? 3:10, 11 and 12, you’ll see that’s what it’s talking about, the end result of it will be satisfied with. And so here is the age old lesson of Christianity, don’t just have the short range view of life. You may be going through all kinds of trouble now, but look beyond that. Look beyond that. We have God’s promises that He will help us we have God’s promises that He will deliver us look beyond that have the long range view how far or you have to go as far as eternity? Go all the way there, and then come here. That’s how the New Testament teaches it. 2 Corinthians 16:17 and 18. You can read it on your own time, but I’ll just quickly quoted, Paul says we don’t lose heart. Why? Verse 17. He says, for this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory, he is looking past the affliction to the glory. And in comparison, with the glory, the affliction looks, light momentary. How do you see your problems today? Everybody say light momentary affliction, maybe you’re thinking, I’m making light of your problem, I am making light of your problem in a good way. In light of eternity, whatever we are facing is light. In light of the eternal weight of glory, beyond all comparison, whatever we are facing is light. If you look at it by itself, if you look at your suffering it it’s not light, and I can’t make light of it. I can’t speak of it lightly. But all speaks of it likely, how? Are we going to claim that we are suffering more than Paul? No. Paul is able to look at his suffering as light momentary. Because he’s looking far ahead, eternal weight of glory is being prepared, or what is it say? This is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. 

Anyway, Romans 8:18 is another verse where Paul reveals that perspective, that long range perspective, I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. What you’re going through, doesn’t compare with what is coming to you. The ending is good. The ending is victorious. The ending is joyful, the ending you will be satisfied with it, lift up your eyes and look way beyond at your victory, and live your present life in light of that. Well, that’s enough application. Let’s go back to Jesus, another motivation. Is third motivation, I think. First is clear sense of calling. Second is knowledge that the ending is good. Thirdly, his faith, Jesus’s, his faith is confidence, not only did he know the ending is good, he had absolute confidence in it. He says, we also know Christians also know ending is good problem is we don’t have confidence. We know ending is good. But here we are living like we don’t know. We’re living doubtful. But look at Jesus, Isaiah 57. But the Lord God helps me again. Again there’s a verse we’ve already read, but look at his confidence here. But the Lord God helps me, therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I’ve set my face like a flint, like a hard rock. And I know that I shall not be put to shame. Why did Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem and go through with it all the way to the end, because of his faith in God’s as a man he had to put his faith in God, the Lord God helps me He declares in faith, I have not been disgraced. Or I will not be displaced as another possible translation. I know that I shall not be put to shame. I know that I shall not be able to be. Everybody say I know that I will not be put to shame is absolutely confident and that confidence fuels and motivates him. 

Luke 23:46. Luke 23:46. Remember the last words of Jesus on the cross, were words of faith and confidence? What were the last words in his dying breath? What did he say? Oh, no, no, he didn’t say that. Father into your hands, I commit my spirit. Father into your hands, I commit my spirit. That’s how he ended his life he gave up, he breathed his last. That was a word of sometimes we say, God, we commit this into this into your hands and we are not really committing first of all, and then we are committing doubtfully. No, no, this is a statement of confidence from Jesus into your hands, I commit fully, confidently my spirit, meaning I know that you will raise me up on the third day. That’s the confidence he had. That’s the faith he had that fuel them, another motivation, fourth motivation, Jesus’s love for us. Finally, I got to the point. Jesus’s love for us. This is only one of the motivations, it is not the only one. Jesus loved us, and that itself drove him. That itself the drove him. Isaiah 53. Again, verse 10, we already read 11. But let’s look at 10 and 11, like that quickly. 53:10, yet it was the will of the Lord to crush me, he has put Him to grief when his soul makes an offering for guilt. When his soul. Everybody say, when his soul. When he was making the offering, at the time that he was dying, making the offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring. Now who’s the offspring? That’s you and me. That’s every believer down through the ages. When Jesus was suffering in agony, making the offering for sin on the cross, he was seeing you and me, his offering his offspring. His offspring. Everybody say, his offspring. We are his offspring. 

And in light of that only verse 11, comes out of the anguish of his soul, he shall see, shall see you and me and be satisfied, he shall see you and me and be satisfied, seeing you and me benefit from his suffering and death on the cross, brought him a satisfaction, or rather gave him a motivation to endure that suffering. Another motivation, fifth motivation. This shocked me. Fifth motivation. Jesus suffered and died on the cross went through with it, in order to honor the scriptures. Why? In order to honor the scriptures, you may say what? Yes, go to Matthew 26, verse 51, one of the motivations for Jesus, one of the things that was driving him to the cross was simply the respect and the honor that he had for this word, Matthew, chapter 26, verse 51, onwards. The context here is you remember, Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter cuts off one of the soldiers ears, and Jesus then tells Peter, put your sword back. I don’t need you to defend me. I can defend myself. You remember that? That’s what we’re going to read here. Okay, so from verse 52, where Jesus says, put your sword back. Jesus said to him, put your sword back into its place for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. And then 53, do you think that — Matthew 26, I’m reading 53, do you think that I cannot appeal to my father, and He will at once send me more than 12 legions of angels? What an amazing statement. He is saying, Peter, do you think I need your help? I don’t need your help. If I want at this very moment, I can ask the Father, He will send me 1000s of angels, one of those angels will finish off these Roman soldiers. There’s only maximum about 200 of them there. 

In the Old testament, you going to see the power of one angel killing 1000s. So Jesus says if I wanted, I could get out of this crust thing now. I could leave it. I could save myself. But I’m not going to do it. Why? Verse 54, he gives us the reason. Why is he not going to do that? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so. Think about what he’s saying. He saying Peter, I don’t need your help, I can defend myself if I wanted. But I’m not going to do that. You know why? If I do that, if I call angels from heaven and destroy these fellows, how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so you know what Jesus is saying? I’m going to go through with this, face this suffering and shame and death. One of the reasons I’m going to do it is to fulfill the scriptures. To fulfill this. Let me say, no man has ever had or can ever have, I don’t think greater respect and honor for the written word of God. I’m talking written word of God, the Bible, no man has ever had greater respect and honor towards the written word of God than Jesus himself. It is shocking. You would think Jesus, why does he need to respect this honor this? He is the word. In the beginning was Word, but the beauty of it is the word respects this word the most. He believes it the most. He honors it the most so much so that he says I will go suffer, die, do anything to fulfill this, to honor this, that’s what drove him, fueled him, motivated him. 

Final motivation then we are done. Jesus is love for the father. Jesus loved the father. He didn’t love just you and me. Sometimes we think it all revolves around us alone, but it’s not that way. I’m sorry. It’s not the full truth. He loved the father before he loved you and me. The father loved the son. The son loved the father from eternity past. There was a love relationship between the father and the son. And when you loved somebody dearly, you’ll do whatever they say. And this was the father’s will. And Jesus said, not my will, but yours be done. That was not a statement of duty. That was not a statement just of grit, determination, but it was also a statement revealing the love Jesus had for the father. I love the father and therefore I’ll do his will. I’ll show you what, John 14:31, just, this verse will close John 14:31. He says I do as the father has commanded me so that the world may know that I love the father, rise let us go from here. You may think what is this about? But you look at that last statement. Rise, let us go from here. What it means is rise up, get up. Let’s get out of this place. Where are they right now in the upper room. Let’s leave this upper room and go from here, go to where? Go to the garden of Gethsemane. That’s where they’ll go next and then go to the cross. And before he says, get up, let’s go to Gethsemane and the cross. What does he say? I do as the father has commanded me? Why? What he means to say is I’m going to the cross. The father has commanded me to go to Gethsemane and the cross, I do as the father has commanded me so that the world may know. That’s why I want you to know that I love the father. He had a burning love for the father. 

Father’s will father’s glory. Everything about the father. It fueled him, pushed him, motivated him. This is not motivation. Like maybe we are used to, shall we rise up? Shall we rise? Get up. But it’s surprising to see Jesus’ motivation. Very different from the worldly motivation oftentimes, but this was Jesus’ motivation. May these kind of things motivate us. May God give us a heart like that. When you see Jesus in this way, I think you feel like worshiping Jesus. I feel like worshiping Jesus. Shall we just stand all him? Shall we express our admiration adoration of him? There is nobody like him. Nobody’s ever done what he did. And nobody has gone through what he has gone through. And you cannot see this kind of determination in anybody else, but him. He stands on another level and he deserves our praise. He deserves our amazement, our worship.

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