The Jewish people, before and during the time of Jesus, were required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year. Once in the spring for Passover (remembering the time God led his people out of Egypt), once in the summer for Shavuot (remembering the time God gave his law on Mount Sinai), and once in the fall for Sukkoth (remembering the years God protected the Israelites when they were in the desert). Jesus would have most certainly made these pilgrimages with Mary and Joseph during the course of His life, as we can see Mary and Joseph were observant Jews by the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
However, something else is going on in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 9. When Jesus begins His ministry, the author of Luke has Jesus “resolutely setting His face towards Jerusalem”. Resolutely setting His face. It means that Jesus couldn’t take His eyes off of Jerusalem. It was the only thing in His view. Nothing could stop Him. It was His mission. Of course, Jesus went to Jerusalem other times during the course of His life, but once His public ministry begins, it is all about Jerusalem. It is about Him sacrificing Himself as the Passover lamb in atonement for the sins of the world. There is no greater love than this.
Next weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday. The time when we celebrate as a Church the triumph of Jesus accomplishing the first part of His mission - entering into Jerusalem. It is the culminating moment not just of Jesus’ life but the entire history of salvation. The Lamb of God is now under the sacrificial knife.
This week let us join our Lord in setting our faces towards Jerusalem. Let us walk with Him and share the weight of the task that lies ahead. We must not leave Him now at the late hour. It is time. Our Salvation is at hand.
May the Lord give you His peace,