Jesus was motivated to get to Jerusalem and nothing was going to stop Him. He set His face like flint knowing the torture, pain and suffering that was waiting for Him there. What gave Him the strength to go through with this plan?
John 18:4 says that Jesus, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward…
In Isaiah, written 700 years prior, we find a prophetic writing of what Jesus was to face in Jerusalem:
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:6-7
As a young boy growing up Jesus studied the scroll of Isaiah. He referred to it many times in His teachings. As He read this passage in Isaiah, something in His heart must have burned inside Him, confirming in His spirit that this was the purpose for which He had come.
Jesus knew the suffering, horrendous whipping with the cat-of-nine-tails, the mocking with the crown of thorns by the hands of the soldiers that he would endure. He was fully aware of the horror of crucifixion. Yet he set his face like flint to complete His purpose.
Flint is a very hard kind of sedimentary rock. When struck against steel, flint produces sparks to start a fire. “Setting your face like flint” implies that you’re expecting some opposition, to stand strong in the face of adversity.
To set your face like flint means to regard these difficulties as worthwhile when you consider what they will lead you to.
For Jesus, it meant having the resolve and determination to complete His purpose. It was for this moment that He had been born.
So – what gave Jesus the strength to keep heading for Jerusalem?
Hebrews 12:2 tells us: (NKJV)
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
What was the “joy” that was before Him?
It was the fulfillment of God’s dream. The dream the Father and Jesus had from the beginning of time. Back when they knew that Adam was going to fall into the hands of Satan, giving over the dominion and rule of the earth to the devil. Back when They knew that mankind would need a Savior to rescue them. A Savior to redeem them and return mankind to God’s family.
This was the plan all along.
The plan was that Jesus would be the perfect Lamb, “slain from the foundation of the earth.”
But actually, Satan was playing right into God’s plan. God actually got Satan to do His will! Satan would kill the sacrificial Lamb. Thus, once for all redeeming mankind to God.
So what was the joy that gave Jesus the strength to fulfill His purpose in going to the cross? It tells us in Jude 24. (AMP)
“…to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]”
It was the anticipated joy “triumphant joy, exultation, with unspeakable, ecstatic delight” knowing that Jesus would have the great privilege to “present each of us, the blood-bought Children of God, blameless and faultless before the throne of God.”
It was mission accomplished joy!
So here are two lessons I draw from Jesus example:
1) Just as Jesus set His face like flint to accomplish His purpose –what purpose has He called you to? Set your face like flint, with determination too – knowing that with God’s resurrection power working in you, nothing is impossible.
2) God devised a plan that even got Satan to do His will! Knowing God did this – gives us great assurance that nothing is too hard for Him. Keep standing in faith believing God to rescue your loved ones who are still far from God. He has secret ways of drawing them to Himself!