Summary: The prayer of Jesus reflects on Jesus Prayer in the Garden.
The Prayer of Jesus Mark 14:32-42
Last Sunday was Father’s Day and I would imagine the phone lines were burning up as people were calling their dads. I phoned my dad and I got one phone call and a text from my kids. And for those whose fathers are no longer with them they probably thought about conversations that they have had with their Dads through the years.
If you are like me, there are probably certain talks, or conversations that you have had with your father that stick in your mind. A friend of mine said he had “The talk” with his eleven year old son the other day, for now I’m sure that is memorable, for whom I’m not sure.
I am fortunate that through the years I have had a really good relationship with Dad, probably didn’t realize it at the time but there are several conversations that I can almost think of verbatim, even remembering where we were when we had those conversations. Not all of them would be appropriate in this context.
This is week two of our Red Letter Summer series and for the next couple of months we will be focusing on those words in the New Testament that are printed in Red. These are the words of Jesus. Red Letters are found primarily in the four gospels but there is a small segment in the book of Acts, in Chapter 9 and again in the book of Revelation.
In the scripture that was read earlier we are eavesdropping on a conversation that Jesus is having with his Father. Last week we looked at how Jesus viewed his Father, that he 1) Jesus Knew the Love of the Father, that 2) Jesus Knew the Affirmation of the Father. And finally 3) Jesus Knew the Protection of the Father
And the fact that he had that type of relationship with his father would explain why he was able to have this conversation with his Father, Mark 14:35-36 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
And so it had come to this. For three years he had taught for three years he had healed. For three years he had tried to make a difference in his world and to direct people to his father and now it had come down to this. One of his followers had already cut a deal with his enemies and he knew deep within his heart that this was already the beginning of the end.
Others might guess what was going to happen, he knew. From the very beginning he knew that the people would reject him and his message and they would reject his call to draw near to God. He knew that he would have to die and would have to surrender his life. He knew all this because he was God. But he also knew that he had to make the offer, he had to walk among the people and offer them the chance to embrace him, even knowing they would reject him, but he had to make the offer.
And so it had come to this. And the worst part was the anticipation. You know how you felt the last time you had to go to the dentist to have a filling, or a tooth pulled? You sat in the waiting room imagining how much it was going to hurt, you could almost feel the prick of the needle as they froze your gums, and as you heard the sound of the drill coming from the office it was almost as if it was in your mouth. Your blood pressure went up, your palms got sweaty your pulse increased. Sorry, I was gone but I’m back now.
Jesus knew that before the day was done that he would die, and not just die but die a very painful death. Oh sure he was God he could make it so it wouldn’t hurt, but that wasn’t a part of the plan. Dying would be the easy part; it was Julius Caesar who said “It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” And Jesus Christ, the son of God knew that before the sun had set one more time that he would offer up the supreme sacrifice for the world, not just for the world, for you, and you and you. Because before the day was done he would offer himself up to suffer and die.