Summary: From today’s text, let’s follow the example of Christ and let’s learn how we are to go about relating to God.
B. Preacher’s Retreat: Lordship + Worship + Fellowship + Discipleship
C. Easter/3 Service options:
D. Series: Last Sunday, we began a new sermon series that will take us to Easter. This series has been inspired by Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ. Last week we talked about Christ’s Passion against the Evil One. Next week we’ll be looking at Christ’s Passion for People. On Easter Sunday, we’ll talk about Christ’s Passion for Victory. But today, I want us to talk a bit about Christ’s Passion for the Father.
E. Joke: Jay Leno recently joked, “The movie, The Passion of the Christ is such a success, I hear that they are going to be making a booking. Well, I do confess that I have high ratings for the movie, but the book is still better.
F. The movie The Passion of the Christ, only deals with 12 hours of Christ’s life that leads up to the cross. The first scene takes place in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-39 says.....
Matthew 26:36-39– “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” ...... Then verse 42 says, “He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done!”
G. Most of the time, many are distracted by Christ’s request in this text. Usually we are so overwhelmed by Jesus prayer request and we miss what’s really important. All of our attention usually gets caught up in his request to consider something else. I personally do not believe Jesus was asking God to take away the cross. He knew the plans from the beginning of Creation. The only reason he came to earth was to head to that cross. But I believe he was praying that God would remove the stress of it all, the pain, the torture, the anxiety, the fear, the pressure that accompanied the cross.
H. Jesus, the Son of God was about to die! He was about to assume all of mankind’s sin and let it be nailed with Him on the cross. He’s never experienced either of those two things before.
I. As I sat in the theater and watched this scene, I was stirred by Christ’s Passion for God the Father. And I really appreciated this text because it helps me know how to relate to God.
J. Christianity is all about relating to God. Christianity is not about religious activity, holy rituals and impersonal duties. Christianity is all about a relationship with God. And here’s the point of today’s message...... God’s greatest desire is relational intimacy with you!
K. From today’s text, let’s follow the example of Christ and let’s learn how we are to go about relating to God....
1. Relationship is seen in his Address of God. “My Father”.
A. Jesus addressed God as “Father”..... Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
B. And not only was that his example, that was also Christ’s instruction. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus said, “When you pray, say, “Father in Heaven, Hallowed by your name!”
C. There’s something special, something indicative in addressing someone was, “Father.”
D. My wife has a cousin who refers to her own dad by his first name, “Bob”. Now, I know that her relationship with her dad isn’t the greatest in the world and that is expressed in her address to Him. I think it is of great significance that Jesus doesn’t not cry out, “God, Jehovah, Lord Almighty!” Nothing wrong with that address (that’s who He is) , but “My father” is so much more intimate. And it’s indicative of the relationship.
E. Often after church, on my way home I’ll reach for my cell phone, I’ll call back home to Mom and Dad’s in Ohio and when my dad answers I often say, “Dad!” (My next word is often: Whatzzzuuuupppp!)
F. When I address God as “Father”. I’m reminded of my relationship with Him and it is good!
2. Relationship is seen in his Time spent with God. “His face to the ground and prayed!”