Jesus, when He walked the earth, was both fully God and fully man. I think we sometimes forget how fully man He was. When He was about to go to the cross, the human Jesus felt all the trepidation any of us would feel at the prospect of suffering and death that awaited Him.
I really like Luke’s description of how Jesus began His final journey toward the cross:
Luke 9:51 (NKJV) Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
Jesus “steadfastly set His face” to go to Jerusalem.
You could read this, on one level, as simply saying He purposed to go to Jerusalem. But I think it goes much deeper than that. I think about the imagery of “He set His face.” That’s very vivid. It’s like Jesus, knowing He was headed directly toward the greatest challenge anyone could face, put His game face on.
But even that picture was not quite enough for Luke. He wants to make sure we really understand that going to Jerusalem and the cross was neither easy nor automatic for the human Jesus. It’s something He had to deliberately determine to do, knowing what the cost would be.
So, Luke adds that not only did Jesus set His face, He did so “steadfastly.” That word in the Greek means to be fixed, strong, firm, unmovable.
That’s how Jesus faced the challenge of the cross. He did not flinch, and He did not waver. He went resolutely forward to accomplish the work He came to earth to do. And He did it for you and for me.
When I remember how human Jesus was when He set His face to go to the cross, it makes me even more deeply appreciative of the love God has for me:
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.