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The Gospel of Mark: Thy Will Be Done

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Praying thy will be done.

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Theme: Praying thy will be done.
Theme: Praying thy will be done.
Jesus instruction for his followers in regard to prayers is found in the Lord’s Prayer. Every part of this prayer assumes some significant knowledge about other teachings of the bible. Tonight, I want us to look at the phrase “thy will be done” since the passage we’ve come to in Mark’s gospel has direct bearing on it.
Jesus instruction for his followers in regard to prayers is found in the Lord’s Prayer. Every part of this prayer assumes some significant knowledge about other teachings of the bible. Tonight, I want us to look at the phrase “thy will be done” since the passage we’ve come to in Mark’s gospel has direct bearing on it.
In Gethsemane, Jesus prays to the Father three times, thy will be done, just as he has taught his disciples to pray. It’s a prayer that flies smack in the face of almost everything our society holds dear. Americans, throughout our history have based their lives on three self-evident truths, 1) Choice is a good thing, 2) Authority is inherently suspect, and 3) No one should have the right to tell others how to think or how to behave.
The more free we are to decide what is right or wrong for ourselves, and have no one else tell us how to live our lives, the happier we will be. This is the essence of American culture. But Jesus tells us that every time we pray to God, thy will be done, it flies in the face of our culture.
To understand the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer, we need to look at Jesus’ own prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prays that prayer in the midst of terrible agony.

I. THE MAGNITUDE OF HIS AGONY

I. THE MAGNITUDE OF HIS AGONY
“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.” (, NIV84)
1. everything that Jesus has told the disciples about his crucifixion and death now hit him like the proverbial ton of bricks
like the proverbial ton of bricks
a. as Jesus begins to pray we’re told that he began to be deeply distressed — which literally means to be in agony
literally means to be in agony
b. he’s also troubled, which means to be horrified and shocked
2. he tells his disciples that the prospects of what is about to happen to him (though the Apostles are clueless as to what that is at the moment) have so overpowered him that his soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death
Apostles are clueless as to what that is at the moment) have so overpowered him that his soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death
a. Jesus is confessing to his disciples that he is ready to die then and there
3. the gravity of where is 3½ year ministry has led him now becomes like a weight upon his soul so dreadful that he is going to pray three times for to the Father to let the upcoming events just disappear
his soul so dreadful that he is going to pray three times for to the Father to let the upcoming events just disappear
ILLUS. Throughout the centuries millions of Christians have gone to their deaths for claiming the name of Christ. Many of them more heroically than we see Jesus going. In Oxford, England there is the Martyr’s Memorial. It marks the spot where, during the Protestant Reformation in England, men and women were burned at the stake for their faith. Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley being two of the most famous. Latimer was a pastor, a professor at Cambridge, and chaplain to King Edward VI. Ridley was also a pastor, the Bishop of London. When the Catholic Queen Mary ascended the Throne of England she began to purge the nation of its Protestant leaders, burning at the stake 300 of them within a three-year period. Latimer and Ridley were among the most famous because of their high positions within the church and the government. As the flames began to grow higher around them Latimer told his friend, “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”
claiming the name of Christ. Many of them more heroically than we see Jesus going. In Oxford, England there is the Martyr’s Memorial. It marks the spot where, during the Protestant Reformation in England, men and women were burned at the stake for their faith. Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley being two of the most famous. Latimer was a pastor, a professor at Cambridge, and chaplain to King Edward VI. Ridley was also a pastor, the Bishop of London. When the Catholic Queen Mary ascended the Throne of England she began to purge the nation of its Protestant leaders, burning at the stake 300 of them within a three-year period. Latimer and Ridley were among the most famous because of their high positions within the church and the government. As the flames began to grow higher around them Latimer told his friend, “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”
a. many of Christ’s followers have face their martyrdom with faith and courage, having more inner peace and tranquility than we see Jesus having in the Garden
more inner peace and tranquility than we see Jesus having in the Garden
4. Jesus is not surprised at the idea that he is going to die
a. he has been repeatedly telling the disciple this is going to happen
“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”” (, NIV84)
b. he knew that ... but now a new truth fully and forcefully reveals itself, and it forces him to fall face-first into the dust
him to fall face-first into the dust
c. none of Jesus’ followers, in the centuries to come, will ever face a death like his
5. what is so unique about our Lord’s death that it becomes agony to him?
a. the cup
“”Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”” (, NIV84)
b. it’s not his death that alarms him, not even death by crucifixion
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (, NIV84)
c. Jesus wants the cup to pass him by
1) in ancient times the cup was often used as a metaphor that referred to judgment
2) in the Old Testament, whenever the Prophets refer to the cup they are referring to the judicial punishment of God because of sin and evil
to the judicial punishment of God because of sin and evil
“You have gone the way of your sister; so I will put her cup into your hand. 32 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “You will drink your sister’s cup, a cup large and deep; it will bring scorn and derision, for it holds so much. 33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, the cup of ruin and desolation, the cup of your sister Samaria.” (, NIV84)
• “Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger.” (, NIV84)
“Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger.” (, NIV84)
3) Jesus is going to experience something he’s never even remote felt before
a) not only will he experience the displeasure of the Father
b) not only will be experience the wrath of the Father
c) he’s going to experience the abandonment of the Father
d. the Garden of Gethsemane is a picture of Jesus beginning to stagger under the conscious weight of God’s redemptive plan
conscious weight of God’s redemptive plan
1) the judicial wrath of God on human evil is beginning to come down on him even now there in the Garden
now there in the Garden
2) the agony is so great the Luke tells us blood was coming out of his pores
6. something is coming way beyond physical death
a. the reason Jesus Christ did not face death the way Polycarp or Latimer or Ridley or anybody else did was because he was facing a death that was infinitely, radically, qualitatively different, far more terrible than anyone ever has or ever will again
anybody else did was because he was facing a death that was infinitely, radically, qualitatively different, far more terrible than anyone ever has or ever will again
ILLUS. Bill Lane, in his commentary on the Gospel of Mark, writes, “The dreadful sorrow and anxiety out of which this prayer for the passing of the cup springs is not merely an expression of fear before a dark destiny, but the horror of one who lives wholly for the Father and who came to be with the Father for an interlude before betrayal and found hell rather than heaven open before him.”
sorrow and anxiety out of which this prayer for the passing of the cup springs is not merely an expression of fear before a dark destiny, but the horror of one who lives wholly for the Father and who came to be with the Father for an interlude before betrayal and found hell rather than heaven open before him.”
7. none of us can begin to understand the magnitude of what Jesus is experiencing in the Garden
Garden

II. THE IMMEDIACY OF HIS AGONY

1. why is God letting Jesus experience this now?
a. Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan pastor of our American colonial days writes that God is allowing Jesus to experience now, in the Garden, the realization of what is going to take place on the cross so that he goes to the cross freely and obediently
that God is allowing Jesus to experience now, in the Garden, the realization of what is going to take place on the cross so that he goes to the cross freely and obediently
b. think of the situation Jesus is in
1) the disciples are asleep
2) Judas and the guards have no yet arrived
3) it’s dark and Jesus is alone in Gethsemane ... from there it’s a short jaunt up the path to the top of the Mount of Olives and the Judean wilderness beyond
path to the top of the Mount of Olives and the Judean wilderness beyond
a) in other words, Jesus can escape, and no one will ever find him
2. in the Garden, the Father begins to reveal to the Son the magnitude of what he is going to experience, the horror he’s going to face, the hell he’s going to experience if you and I are to be saved
going to experience, the horror he’s going to face, the hell he’s going to experience if you and I are to be saved
a. there is no other way ... either you perish or they perish ... is your love such that you will go on?
will go on?
b. the 1st Adam was put into a Garden and God told him, “Obey me about a tree, and you will live.”
you will live.”
1) but he didn’t, and we didn’t
c. the 2nd Adam is also put into a Garden and God tells him, “Obey me about the tree, and you will die. In fact, I will crush you to powder, and abandon you”
and you will die. In fact, I will crush you to powder, and abandon you”
1) and he does, and because he does we have eternal life
ILLUS. Jonathan Edwards, in his great sermon, Christ’s Agony, puts it this way. He says the greatest act of fidelity in the history of the universe happened when Jesus Christ looked at those disciples who had fallen asleep on him and could have said, “Why should I, infinitely greater than all of the angels of heaven and all of the kings of the earth, take this burning agony into my heart and soul, cast myself into this eternal furnace for those who will never repay me or profit me one iota, who cannot even stay awake with me one hour in a time of greatest need? Why should I give an eternity in unimaginable torment when they will not even give me a few minutes of their attention?”
says the greatest act of fidelity in the history of the universe happened when Jesus Christ looked at those disciples who had fallen asleep on him and could have said, “Why should I, infinitely greater than all of the angels of heaven and all of the kings of the earth, take this burning agony into my heart and soul, cast myself into this eternal furnace for those who will never repay me or profit me one iota, who cannot even stay awake with me one hour in a time of greatest need? Why should I give an eternity in unimaginable torment when they will not even give me a few minutes of their attention?”
3. but Jesus doesn’t say that, and he obeys for us

III. APPLICATION

1. Jesus is our model of and power for perfect obedience
a. Jesus is the same in the dark as in the light
b. when Jesus prays thy will be done he prays the same in the dark as in the light
1) Jesus obeyed in the dark when no one saw and there were no rewards, Lord I can do that for you
can do that for you
2. Jesus is our model of and power for incredible endurance
a. Jesus is trusting God in an amazing way — he’s being very honest with how he feels about this
feels about this
1) it’s hard, it’s going to be painful but he endures the cross
2) when we pray they will be done it means trusting God even though doing so might be incredibly difficult
might be incredibly difficult
3. Jesus is our model of honesty with the Father, but power to surrender to His will
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