He Set His Face Like a FlintPastor Charles Peck,
Text: Isaiah 50:2-9
Isaiah chapter fifty, verse seven states, "I have set my face like a flint." This is a statement of courage with a firm commitment to accomplish what God had sent Him to do, in spite of all the scorn and hatred heaped upon Him. The Messiah was dedicated to one thing in life – He came to do the will of the Father. His death was not just an event that happened. He achieves that for which He was sent. His face was set like flint knowing that He would be put to death.
There was only care, concern and love in the heart of Jesus, but purpose was etched in His face. Verse six says, "I hid not my face from shame and spitting." He had set His face and goodness and mercy were united in Him.
In the book of Luke 9:51 we read, "He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." He could not turn aside from the work that He was called to do at Jerusalem, though none helped him, and every one hindered Him. He was neither confused by thoughts within His mind and soul, nor rendered ashamed by the scorn of others.
Jesus declared his mission in the language of our text, and this ordeal was a declaration that He justified. Look how Jesus was received; He rides into Jerusalem on the beast of burden, they threw palm branches along the way and would have made Him a king, look how easily He could have become a popular leader.
With a little compromise He could have won over the enthusiastic crowd as a religious teacher. All the disciples marveled at His strength of mind and purpose. His relatives sought a very different course for Him. Many in that day would have yielded to the pressure, but Jesus set His face like a flint.
Look at the unworthiness of those who followed Him. He ate bread with the one that betrayed Him and His disciples forsook Him and fled, there were some who said His works were of the devil. It seemed the whole Jewish race conspired to put Him to death.
As Jesus made His way to the cross as our sacrifice think about the bitter things that He tasted. Gethsemane, the betrayal, the false accusation, the mockery; these were just a few of the things that were thrust upon Him; but Jesus stood firm.
Had Jesus pleaded with Pilate, he may have released Him; Legions of angels were ready to rescue Him. Jesus could have come down from the cross. He was not held to the cross by the nails in his hands and feet, but by a love which was stronger than death. He prayed saying, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me." But the impossibility lay in His resolve to redeem His people.
Think about the things Jesus encountered, they taunted Him, scoffed Him. They said, "Let us see whether Elias will come to save Him." The priest said "He says He is the King of Israel." The thief of the cross said "If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us."
Strong men have been overcome by such actions, but not so with Jesus. He had set his face like a flint, determined to do the will of the Father, knowing what the outcome would be.
The stress of the cross, the agony of death should have caused Him concern, but for this cause He was sent. The pain, thirst, fever, fainting, desertion, nor death removed Him from his strength of mind. He said, "I have come to do the will of the Father."
His dedication with purpose is what sustained Him. Even though He was God, He was the Son manifested in the flesh to be the sacrificial Lamb, slain before the foundations of the world.
As a man, our Lord’s steadfastness was due to several things. One was because of His divine schooling, verse four states, "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, and that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary."
When Jesus spoke in the temple the Jews marveled saying, "How does He know the letters, having never learned? And Jesus answered them, "My doctrine is not mine but His that sent me."
Jesus was obedient to His conscious innocence, verse five reveals this, "I gave my back to those that would smite me, my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; and I hid not my face from shame."
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus talking to some of His disciples stated, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here and watch with me." Then Jesus went a little father and prayed saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Yet for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross despising the shame. He overcame all of this because of the love for His people. Verse eight states, "For He is near that justified me; who will contend with me?"
Verse nine gives us a picture of why He was unshakable, "Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."
Even when Jesus spoke the words "It is finished" He never flinched, but remained true to His purpose. His purpose was to redeem men back to the Father, paying the ultimate price. The price was the shedding of His blood that all men may go free.
Jesus was determined to fulfill God’s purpose, and that was accomplished by His obedience. Therefore our purpose must be for God’s glory, as His was. Our education must be God teaching us, and that comes through the reading the Word and the Holy Spirit giving us revelation knowledge.
The Apostle Paul tells us "to study to show ourselves approved to God; a workman needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth". Our life must combine active and passive obedience, as His did. We must open our ear to hear the gospel and be obedient to the call of the Master.
Our strength lies in the relationship we have with the Father. And our relationship with Him is a walk of faith. The songs says, "Prayer is the key, but our faith unlocks the door." Let us trust in the Lord, and stay true to the calling He has placed on our lives.
After teaching, serving, feeding and healing the people in His earthly ministry, Jesus said to His disciples, "Greater works than these shall you do, because I go to my Father,"
And that promise and commission is for us today, so we must propose in our hearts to do the will of the Father, and let the love of God shine through that others will see Christ.
We must be fully persuaded; our work for Him must be carefully planned, and our life lived until we hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of the Lord."
The ungodly will not hear His voice, for they have walked in darkness, blinded by prince of darkness. Having made no preparation their lives will end in eternal regrets; they will be cast into outer darkness separated from Christ forever.
So prepare your heart and set your face like a flint, that you may enter the New Jerusalem as it come down from God out of heaven.
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