As He approached the passion week, Jesus set His face like flint and turned toward Jerusalem. He told the twelve that everything the prophets had written about Himself would be accomplished. He knew He’d be mocked, mistreated, spit upon, and even killed. Yet He chose to go.
On Palm Sunday, as He neared the city, Jesus wept over it. He cried for the sheep, distressed and downcast without a shepherd. He cried for us. He was about to face something incomprehensible, and yet He cried for us.
After the triumphal entry, Jesus said, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” (John 12:27-28)
Jesus knew His purpose. He had come to seek and to save that which is lost. He said that no one takes His life but He willingly lays it down. At any point during that week, He had merely to speak the word and legions of angels would have saved Him. Yet, He chose to fulfill His purpose, the very reason He stooped down to enter our world as a baby in a manger that night in Bethlehem.
Why? How could He go ahead with those plans? “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2) What was the joy set before Him?
Could it be us?