Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Going to Jerusalem

When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; (Luke 9:51 NASB)

This is such a profound verse, but the truth in it is easy to miss. "When the days were accomplished for His ascension" sounds like it was time for an appointment and Jesus was going to town to keep it. In a sense, that was true. It was almost time for Him to return to heaven, and He was going to Jerusalem to be ready. What this verse doesn't say is that the ascension only came after the arrest, beatings, crucufixion, death, burial, and resurrection. There were quite a few highly significant (and extremely difficult) events before the ascension, most of which were not just unpleasant but extremely terrible. 

It's amazing, isn't it, that Jesus looked past all the bad that was to come and focused on the ascension, His return to heaven. He wasn't plodding along, consumed by dread of the beatings, the crucifixion, taking our sin upon Him. He had his eyes fixed on going Home. He knew that there was eternal joy on the other side of what He faced, so He looked toward the good.  

It was an attitude of certainty that He would not be abandoned by His Father in the darkest hour, the time of greatest need, and it would carry Him all the way through. It is a certainty of our Father's care that will carry us through those long, difficult times that seem too hard to bear, the uncertainty of what life will bring overcome by the certainty of eternity. 

Are you in the midst of a difficult and seemingly impossible situation? Take heart! Our Lord set an example for how to make it through, and it is one we, too, can follow. Look to heaven. Take our eyes off our circumstances and what we expect will come and put them, just as Jesus did, on the other side of our circumstances. Let's keep our feet planted where God has placed us but our hearts set on that place our Lord has promised, our eternal destination in Heaven. 

He kept going to Jerusalem "for the joy set before Him", and so should we. No matter the circumstances, keep walking in the direction He has set. There is eternal joy just ahead. 
 The new book, The Waiting: When the Answer to Your Prayer is Delayed and Your Hope is Gone, as well as The Clay Papers and The Road to Bethlehem (an advent devotional guide) are now available at http://www.leannahollis.com/online-store/ Get your copy today.