This weekend we mark Palm Sunday and move towards Easter. It’s a time of year when I find myself reflecting on the things that matter most, on the deeper things of life. When I contemplate the extent of God’s love seen in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross the lens I see life through changes. I am challenged to look beyond the superficial to the significant. 

As I’ve been pondering these thoughts this week, one word keeps echoing in my mind and that is the word resolve. 

Yes, Easter is all about resolve.  

We see the resolve of a loving God to do all that was required to bring broken humanity back into a whole and personal relationship with him.  We see the resolve of Jesus as he robustly and courageously holds fast to his commitment to fulfil his Father’s will, even at the cost of horrible execution. 

These examples of resolve challenge me to consider what does it mean for me to live a life of resolve today.  

What does it mean for me to imitate this innate value and character strength of Jesus in the way I live my life, in my relationships, my work, my ethics and my priorities? What does it mean to reflect Christ-like resolve when I face challenges, when I am put to the test, when life is hard, when I am called beyond my comfort zone? What does it mean to live out this courageous resolve as I pursue vision and purpose in my life or be a voice for others in need of advocacy?  

The reality is that Jesus’ resolve was tested on multiple occasions – just as our character, values and commitment are on a regular basis, particularly when the pressure is on.  

Jesus’ resolve was tested by Satan in the wilderness. He was offered an easy way out, a comfortable short-cut. We face this same challenge often in life. The world preaches comfort, Jesus calls us to the narrow road of discipleship. 

We read in Luke 9:51: As the time approached for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”  

Here is a pivotal point in Jesus’ life and ministry. His popularity with the crowds is rising, but they want him to fulfil a different “Messiah script”. They can’t envisage a suffering, servant King. Opposition is also escalating. Jesus is threatening the establishment. And more, Jesus knows what is ahead in Jerusalem. His destination is a wooden cross on Golgotha hill.  

The heat is well and truly on and his resolution to stay on track is being challenged on multiple fronts. He could have so easily chosen compromise and comfort.  

But rather as The Message translation captures it: “He gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem.” 

Ahead would be Palm Sunday and despite the cheering crowds, Jesus again is challenged to fix his eyes on staying the course. We see it again in his beautiful, deep and sacrificial courage, as he prays his heart out in Gethsemane: “If there be any way Father take the cup of suffering from me … but ultimately Father, your will be done!” 

I think this is the most powerful prayer of resolve ever prayed.  

And what a template for us. What a challenging, yet inspiring prayer and lifestyle to imitate. We are called to take up our Cross and follow Christ. 

To increasingly reflect his attitude and servant heart.
To increasingly express his values and ethics.
To be others-centred.
To live beyond our comfort zone. 
To take Kingdom risks.
To get our hands dirty in a broken world.
To invest in the cause that matters most.
To be a disciple that multiplies. 
To boldly love as he did.
To stay true to unique God-given plans and purposes for our lives. 
To persevere when we are stretched and squeezed.   

We are called to live and model Christ-like resolve in our lives – faithful, courageous, inspiring, loving, sacrificial and passionate resolve.

It’s a high bar call. It’s one I know I can’t live up to on my own. I certainly know I haven’t arrived. I have fallen short many times. But I do know the Holy Spirit wants to keep chipping away, moulding and shaping me more and more into a person who reflects the resolve of Jesus in the way I live my life.  

Easter always picks me up on my feet again.
Easter reminds me how much I matter to my Creator God.
Easter reminds me of the way of Jesus, so at odds with the world we live in.
Easter reminds me of what matter most.
It fuels me afresh with purpose. It enlivens me again with hope.  

The call of Jesus echoes anew: Just as the Father sent me, so I send you.”  

Here is the call to a purposeful, life-giving, noble, exciting, challenging, at times daunting, yet also joyful faith adventure.  

Here is a call to faith and courage; to embrace life – with all its challenges and opportunities – with Christ-like resolve. Let me encourage you to reflect on what that may mean for you in your life this Easter season.  

Scott Pilgrim