Summary: This message focuses on Jesus' obedience to the Father and the impact that He has had through His obedience on most of the world's major religions.
Not My Will But Thine Be Done
The title of my message this morning is “Not My Will But Thine Be Done!” On the night that He was arrested, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. In His conversation (prayer) with His Father, Jesus said, “….My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39b) In His prayer, Jesus confessed that He did not want to go through the suffering that He knew was coming and He asked God if it was possible to let it pass from Him. But He concluded by confirming that it was not His will, but whatever God’s will was He would follow. I want us to understand that Jesus did not joyfully go to the cross He went in obedience to His Father! He experienced all of the pain and suffering that anyone would experience being crucified! That being said, are we willing to put our will to the side and do whatever God’s will is for us?
Jesus obeyed the will of His Father. Consider what was recorded in John 19:30. After Jesus had been on the cross for six hours, John 19:30 records the following: “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” Jesus voluntarily laid down his life within six hours of being on the cross. Under normal circumstances a person could last for days on the cross and this is why the soldiers would break the legs of those being crucified to hasten their death. I mention this because Jesus said in John 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for each of us in obedience to His Father’s will! For six hours He hung on the cross. There were people who loved Him present in support of Him. There were other people who mocked Him during this same time period. After about six hours, Jesus said “It is finished!” and He hung His head and gave up His spirit. He did not die as if He had no choice, He voluntarily gave up His spirit because He had obeyed His Father and His work was finished. But what was actually finished?
I. It Is Finished
In John 10:10 Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus came and died so that we might be able to live, not just victoriously here on earth, but in heaven, forever being in His and God’s presence. This is what was finished. The door was open and our invitation to enter was given to us. Jesus destroyed the power of death over any Christian because true death is the eternal separation from God, not the physical death that we experience here on earth. We actually begin to live when we leave this earth and that pathway was completed when Jesus took His last breath on the cross. The Bible makes it clear that death is a transition from this life to the next. However, what that “next” life will be resides with the decisions that we make on this side of the dirt, as my good friend Jack would say. That next life will be based on our willingness to yield our will in favor of God’s will. Jesus Christ is that way and that He is the only way to forever be in the presence of God and our decision to accept this is the first step to submission. I am so glad that Jesus said, “Not My will, but Your will be done!
As Christians we believe that because Jesus was obedient to the Father even to death that He is “the” Messiah as foretold in the Old Testament. We believe that He is the Son of God. We believe that through His death and resurrection we are all offered the opportunity to be reconciled to God and receive salvation and eternal life. This is what we believe. We do not believe this simply because this is what we were taught, but also because we have experienced Jesus. Jesus is more than just a figure we have read about in the Bible and other books. He is more than just a righteous man who walked the earth one day. Jesus is our Savior and most importantly, He is alive and well! This is what we believe. But what does some of the other major religions believe and/or teach about Jesus Christ?