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On my recent pilgrimage to Israel one of the many profound experiences occurred on the airplane prior to even leaving JFK International in New York.

After I was seated on the huge double Decker airplane which took us directly to Tel Aviv, I noticed a large Orthodox Jewish family making their way down the aisle. Indeed, I was struck by the commonality of our human experience as I watched the Jewish Father wrangle his young children while his wife carried a small infant in her arms.

I heard what was, for me, a familiar Hebrew word being spoken by this man’s children. Abba, and then the rest of the words were lost to me because my mind immediately wondered to the places in the Scripture where the word Abba occurs. These precious little children were calling out Abba, Father; DADDY.

In Mark 14:36, speaking of Jesus whilst he pray in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion, says, “And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (ESV)

Jesus was of divine origin. The Scriptures attest that Mary knew no man and that the Holy Spirit had supernaturally conceived Him. His life and miracles attest to the reality of this divine origin. O, the willingness of His disciples immediately following the Resurrection testifies to the reality of His origins and here in Mark the God-Man, the Logos, Immanuel, God with us, testifies to the perfectly connected state in which His lived while on this earth.

Abba, Daddy, if it is possible, take this cup from me that I might not drink of fruit of the vine of sin, the pain of the human condition thrust upon the shoulders of holiness, thrust into the side of grace merely clothed in human flesh. But not my will, but yours be done…

In Romans 8:15 the Apostle Paul writes, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" (ESV) In Galatians 4:6 he writes, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (ESV)

For me, now a man strong in the Lord, but once a frail boy who knew precious little of his earthly father, these words strike a chord deep within, but for us all, they ring out with the beauty of the reality that we are the sons and daughters of the Most High! We have received the firstfruits of salvation; the grace of God!

We, who were once lost in sin. We, who were once alienated by the inheritance of our father Adam and the fruit of our own hands acting on behalf of our own hearts, have received the firstfruits of salvation; the redemption that is in Christ!

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