The mention of Father’s Day could amass a wave of thoughts and emotions, both positive and negative. Some have been raised by a loving dad, some by a hurtful dad, and some who have had no dad involved in their lives at all. Your relationship with your earthly father may leave you feeling like you don’t have a great understanding of how to view a relationship with your Heavenly Father.
We do not need to look further than Jesus Christ who shows us how to approach our Heavenly Father.
In Mark 14:36 we see the first use of the word “Abba” in scripture, and it is used by Jesus Himself at the time that He knew his painful death was approaching.
“And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”
I’m struck by 4 simple lessons we can learn from Jesus’ approach to the Father in this passage.
1. Jesus communicates with The Father.
Communication is key to every relationship, including our relationship with God. Jesus’ first approach to pain was to come directly to the throne of God.
2. Jesus cries out to God.
Verses 33-34 tell us He was greatly distressed, troubled, and sorrowful. He didn’t hide or minimize his pain. He fully expressed his plea to God and even asked for reprieve.
3. Jesus surrenders to God’s ultimate plan.
Ultimately, despite his desire that the cup be removed, He wanted nothing more than to surrender to the Father’s will no matter what. He trusted in God’s ultimate goodness and his ultimate plan, and He willingly walked it out.
4. Jesus brought others with Him.
While they were in the Garden of Gethsemane, He took Peter, James, and John with Him to pray. “Watch and pray,” He told them in verse 38. He set the example and showed them the way.
Can we be so bold as to approach the Father just as Christ Himself did?
Two other uses of “Abba” in scripture assure us we can.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Romans 8:15
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Galatians 4:6
We are no longer slaves to sin, but sons and joint heirs with Christ. Sons had full inheritance rights, and through Christ, so do we.
As we approach Father’s Day this year, spend time focusing on the Father. Communicate with Him, cry out to Him, and surrender to Him. Come to Him boldly and bring others with you.