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"As the time approached for Him to be taken up to Heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem!" Luke 9:51
There were a great many painful steps to take before our Lord could reach this blessed hour and be received up to Heavenly glory. The immediate future was full of unfathomable struggle, loss, and pain. Yet, on yonder heights — His eye saw the radiance of Heaven, with its opening gates and its welcome home. But before His feet could enter the shining portal — there was a broad battle-plain to pass through, and it was full of enemies! There were days of toil and nights of loneliness. At last He must pass through Gethsemane's gloom, and then travel all that Via Dolorosa which led to Calvary. He must die and go into the grave. All this — before He could be taken up to Heaven!
But He He did not let His eye rest on the shadows that lay in the valley — but lifted it up to the mountain-top beyond, where the splendors of Heaven blazed. Keeping His thoughts always forward on the glories that were to be His when He had ended the journey — He looked past the toils and the tears, and fainted not.
Here is a wonderful secret which all of us ought to learn — not to think so much about the toil and hardness of the way — but to look beyond to the glory of the end! It does not matter how long or rough the road is — if it only brings us home to Heaven at last!
Many of us go worrying all through this life, keeping our eyes always downcast on the path which we are treading. We see all the troubles, the difficulties and discouragements — but we never raise our eyes to see the eternal joys and the blessings which are waiting for us! We ought to learn this life-secret which made Christ look past the shame and sorrow of His cross — and see the glory beyond! Learn to look up toward Heaven! Think of its joys, its blessedness — until earth's trials shall melt away in the brightness, and its griefs and losses be forgotten in the hope of Heavenly glory!
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him — endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God!" Hebrews 12:2