Luke 9.51 marks a decided turning point in Luke’s gospel account. Speaking of Jesus, Luke says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” What is amazing about this text is that it first looks beyond the cross to the day of Jesus’ ascension and then notes that Jesus set his face to the cross. The way to the glory of the ascension was through the humility of the cross. As followers of Jesus, we must journey with him through the humility of the cross to the glory coming when He returns to make all things new.
The Lenten season is to be preparation for the celebration of Easter. There is no celebration of the glory of the resurrection without the humility of reflection and repentance. Lent is an invitation to greater, deeper celebration through greater, deeper preparation. The glory of the resurrection will shine all the brighter in the firmament of humble reflection and repentance. The joyful Easter celebration will be fueled by humble Lenten preparation. For greater celebration and deeper joy, check out these posts during the Lenten season:
The gospel does more than free us from sin—it introduces us to a greater Delight, indeed the greatest Delight, the presence of God in Jesus.
The One who death laid in the tomb is the Defeater of death. Expecting to find Jesus’ body in the tomb, the women who had ventured there instead were met with a question, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24.5-6). God raised Jesus up from the dead according to the Scriptures, and thus defeated death once and for all.
They knew that they were sick, but they also knew the doctor had come. The disease was curable, and although there would be consequences for their sins, they knew that this man spoke with authority that gave them hope for restoration.
When we believe we merit something, we will only ever pity the even tragic means that achieve that deserved end.
The table, therefore, is not merely a somber reflection on the horrors of sin and the crucifixion. It is a celebration of what is soon coming. It is the rehearsal dinner on the eve of the wedding feast.