As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Luke 9:51 (NIV)
It’s that time of year again. The time when people make resolutions to begin the new calendar year. According to the Statista Research Center, 46% of Americans made resolutions to begin 2019. You can probably guess the top-ranking new-year promises – eat healthier and lose weight, exercise more, save more money, travel more often, and spend more time with family, are in the top-five. Those are all good goals! Sadly, however, the success rate for new year resolutions is quite low. Statista reports that only 4% of those polled were resolute enough to fully keep their resolutions for the year. Only 4%! Those who didn’t keep their resolutions will likely try again in 2020, hopefully with better success this time around.
God made a resolution in the Garden of Eden. His resolution was to rescue his fallen creation (Genesis 3:15). He made the promise to save even before announcing the consequences of sin to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:16-19). His faithfulness to this promise is the focus of Scripture. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal how God kept this resolution for you. He never faltered in it!
The Gospel writer Luke says Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem”. He knew his purpose for going there – it was to suffer and die as a substitutionary punishment for the sin of mankind. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed for “this cup” to be taken from him, but he willingly accepted the Father’s “no” answer and did what needed to be done for you and me. He resolutely went to the cross. He was jeered and goaded to “Come down from the cross and save yourself!” as he suffered on Calvary, but Jesus resisted the temptation to do so and remained resolute in fulfilling the payment for mankind’s sin. Jesus was 100% successful in keeping his resolution. He announced, “It is finished!” from the cross. Your sin is paid for. Eternal life in heaven is a gift to you. Jesus rose from the dead to prove it really is finished. And he promises, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
We often fail to keep our resolutions. Our determination wanes and we give up. But God’s determination to save you never wavered. He followed it through to the end. Heaven is your eternal home thanks to His dedication. Your salvation is resolved!
As we begin a new year, ponder Jesus’ resolution to accomplish your salvation. And, make it your resolution to share this good news with your friends and neighbors.
Happy New Year!
Written by Staff Minister Brent Bitter