Jesus’ Life of Love
Jesus Surrenders to His Father’s Will
My heart sings along with the opening lines of the song Worthy is the Lamb:
Thank You for the cross Lord.
Thank You for the price You paid.
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace.
Thank you for this love Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands …
Such unfathomable love that Jesus would take our place and die a sinner’s death on the cross. And so we respond, “Thank you for this love Lord.”
Truly we see the love of God in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Throughout Jesus’ life, in the stories He told, in the healing He performed, in the life-giving words He spoke and in the prayers He prayed, Jesus showed us the Father’s heart. And, as He faced death, we see the price Jesus paid to make a way for us to live in God’s love.
On the night before Jesus’ death, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Satan came against God’s Son in raging fury. If the devil could cause Jesus to act apart from the will of His Father—by the leading of His own soul—Jesus’ union with His Father would be severed. The Son of Man would fail the test and humanity would remain led by the soul—in bondage to the law. But Jesus chose His Father’s will over His own. In this way, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus regained for us what Adam lost in the Garden of Eden. Through His love, as proved on the cross, Jesus made a way for us to live again in the perfect love of God.
In the passage for this lesson, we hear Jesus’ agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…. My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Even though His soul was overwhelmed with grief, the Son of Man gave up His will and trusted in His Father’s love.
Read Matthew 26:36–46:
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39Going 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.”
40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42He 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.”
43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
1. In verse 38, what did Jesus share with Peter, James and John about the feelings in His soul?
2. What did He ask of them and how did they respond?
3. In verse 41, Jesus said to the three disciples, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” In what ways are Jesus’ words in this verse true in your life today?
4. In your own words, what did Jesus pray in the Garden?
5. What do you think enabled Jesus to surrender His will to His Father’s?
6. Tell of a time when God asked you to surrender something to Him and you gave up whatever it was. What effect, if any, did that your obedience have on your life?
7. Tell of a time when God asked you to surrender something to Him (or do something) and you did not obey. What effect, if any, did that disobedience have on your life?
8. The number three in scripture represents completion or fullness. For example, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We human beings are of spirit, soul and body. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. In this passage, Jesus brought three disciples with Him to the Garden. Three times they failed to keep watch. Three times Jesus prayed surrendering His will. What does this signify to you?
9. If God really loved His Son, why didn’t He save Him from this agony in the Garden and from death on the cross?
10. If possible, recall an incident when hard times caused you to question God’s love. What was the situation and how did it impact your understanding of God’s love?
11. Ponder again Jesus’ words in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” What is this verse saying to you personally?
12. Consider again Jesus’ words in John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” What is this verse saying to you personally?
Each member of the Trinity loves us perfectly. The Father sent His Son (see John 3:16). The Son gave His life (see John 15:13). And today, the Holy Spirit makes God’s love real in our hearts. Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Imagine the love of the Father giving His Son. Think of the love of Jesus dying on the cross. Imagine the Holy Spirit pouring that love into your heart … Your heart is filled … God’s love is flooding out of you to others …
Ponder and receive … to overflowing.