Clenching the bit, horses, and Good Friday.

This week I saw a horse that’d had enough. He just took the bit between his teeth, locked his jaw and trotted off on a tangent out of the circle, toward the gate. The rider tugged away but the horse’s neck and determination were set like stone. This riding session was over, as far as he was concerned!
“Clenching the bit”. “Stiff necked”. Horse idioms we use for steely determination.

So what’s this got to do with Good Friday?

I’ve been reading the historical accounts of Jesus’ life and death as we approach Easter and I’m floored by his steely determination. Clearly, he had a life purpose – one that would involve unimaginable suffering – and He didn’t turn back.
Jesus’ determination wasn’t to evade pressure, rather, he said, to take the pressure and tears of the world on His own shoulders.
Not an unfortunate miscarriage of Roman justice toward another religious martyr – but, it seems, all part of a bigger plan.

• As the time drew near… Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9

• “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord”. John 18