Mar 30

Decorative orange dots

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

As we approach Good Friday, let’s consider the mindset of Jesus who knew what was soon to come and yet resolutely set His face like flint toward the cross.

C.H. Spurgeon admonishes us, "Oh, you redeemed ones, on whose behalf this strong resolve was made. You who have been bought by the precious blood of this steadfast, resolute Redeemer.  Come and think awhile of Him, that your hearts may burn within you and that your faces may be set like flint to live and die for Him who lived and died for you!”

It was the Father’s will for His Son to suffer and die for the sins of mankind. Jesus knew this well but still He moved forward.  He knew exactly what you and I were going to cost him—His very life. He knew that it was going to be painful, yet He followed the path marked out for him towards Jerusalem, setting His face like flint.

Flint is a very hard type of sedimentary rock. When struck against steel, a flint edge produces sparks to start a fire. Setting your face like flint implies that although you’re expecting opposition, you’re still willing to stand strong because you know what these difficulties will lead to. It means having the resolve to achieve the Lord’s purposes.

Jesus had countless opportunities to abandon the task He was sent to complete, yet He was unwavering with every step He took. When He told his disciples of the suffering He was going to endure in Jerusalem, they pleaded with Him to choose an easier path, but He did not listen. Jesus was steadfast in achieving His purpose until He said, “It is finished.”

Prayer:

I want to share an ancient spiritual practice called Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”).  Picture Lectio Divina as a way of feasting or meditating on God’s Word, which leads to prayer and a deeper intimacy with Him.  


We will read Hebrews 12:1-3, three times.  As you read the first time, listen for a word or a phrase that catches your attention.  On your second reading, reflect on how that word or phrase connects with your life and what God might be saying to you.  Reading the passage a third time, consider how God might be inviting you to pray as His Word continues touching you at a deep level.  Finally, simply rest in His presence and enjoy being held in His infinite love.  


Let’s begin.  Read Hebrews 12:1-3.  Listen for a word or phrase that seems to choose you, inviting you to linger with it.  Don’t analyze it.  Just listen for it.  


Reading a second time, consider how God might be speaking to you through that word or phrase?  Why did His words catch your attention?  Let His words descend from your mind to your heart.  Allow that word or phrase to touch you at a deep level.  What could He be communicating to you? 


Finally, as you read a third time, listen for God’s personal invitation to pray.  What do you want to tell Him about how you’ve heard Him speaking?  Be honest.  


Take time now to pray about what you’ve heard God saying to you.  Listen for the Spirit’s gentle voice of reassurance as you talk with Him.   


Let’s pray corporately as we prepare for Good Friday and our Easter services.  Let’s pray for our congregation, our loved ones, people we know who are spiritually seeking and for our nation in this critical time in our country’s history.  


Kathy Verhoeven 

Women’s Ministry Leader