Thursday, February 29, 2024

Lent - Up to Jerusalem

 Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35               

As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 NIV

Jesus spent the last months of ministry making His final journey up to Jerusalem. This verse in Luke’s Gospel announces the turning point in Jesus’ ministry. Focus on His teaching ministry changes, and Jesus begins to prepare the Disciples and Himself for His destiny, the cross. Over the next months Jesus repeatedly explains to the Disciples that He will suffer beatings and betrayal, death and resurrection. Christian discipleship always comes down to the cross!

Scholars call Luke 9:51 through Luke 19:44 the “travel narrative”. Jesus and the disciples minister to people from Galilee to Jerusalem. Parables and healing, opposition and rejection become lessons about the cost of discipleship. Plots to kill and schemes to discredit both challenge and confront Jesus’ authority. Up to Jerusalem really describes Jesus in steadfast determination and faithful obedience to accomplish His assigned mission. God’s plan requires a journey to the cross!

Lord, I, too, know something about suffering and betrayal, rejection and confrontation. Like the disciples, I, too, do not always understand. In the shadow of the cross, I pray, Lord, always give us this bread to sustain me, to strengthen my resolve as I go up to my Jerusalem. - dho

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