Written by: Tim Wood
But the Lord God helps me; therefore, I have not been disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:7 ESV)
Game face. A term used in sports to indicate a player is locked in; focused, determined to give their best. Flint is a hard type of sedimentary rock. When struck against steel, a flint edge produces sparks to start a fire.
Jesus put on his game face when he began to journey toward the cross. He exhibited a divine grittiness to finish his task even in the fiery furnace of trials. Luke tells us that Jesus “set his face” to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). He went there to suffer and die. In Jerusalem he would be mocked, spit on, brutally beaten and crucified. But, he set his face like a flint to go there despite knowing what awaited him.
Jesus set his face like a flint for two reasons:
1) He knew His Father, the Lord God, would help him. Therefore, Jesus was confident. He would not be disgraced by His Father or dismayed. He could set his face and be determined because he was assured of God’s help. Step by step, moment by moment, Jesus knew the Father was with him and for him.
2) His mission was worth it. Jesus set his face in determination because securing salvation for us was worth it. Death on a cross was a heavy burden for Jesus but he knew it was the only way to save us. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “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” (12:2 ESV). The joy set before Jesus is you and me. To Jesus, we are worth more than the pain he experienced, the suffering he endured, the cross he bore.
Jesus put on his game face and journeyed toward the cross because he loves us. Because we’re valuable to him. He went through the fire and won for us the greatest victory imaginable, a life at peace with God for all eternity.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus, for setting your face toward the cross for me. May my face be set on you with grateful devotion. AMEN.