Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

"And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt" (Mark 14:35-36).

In that time period, people did not address God as Father. Rather, titles such as Master of the Universe and King of the Cosmos were used. But here we see that Jesus comes before God Almighty and addresses him with the Hebrew and Aramaic title of Abba, Father. Jesus was born through the Virgin Mary and God Almighty by immaculate conception. He is the Son--the true Son of God. Thus, he rightly addresses the Ruler of the Universe as "Father." He falls down on the ground, prostrating himself, assuming the position of ultimate submission in Jewish prayer. Truly he is humbled, and "exceedingly sorrowful unto death" (14:34). He seeks comfort from his father, and reassurance that this is the right time and the right way.

In Galatians 4:4-6, it says "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Christ is not only our Redeemer and Savior, but he is also the mediator through which we are brought unto God. Because of his sacrifice, we are adopted as sons and daughters of God, and thus, we may now rightfully address our almighty god as "Father." So, what does that mean? Why does it matter?

What it means is that now when I fall down on the ground, when I am "exceedingly sorrowful" and humbled by hardship, I too can turn to a divine Father in Heaven. When I seek comfort, when I seek reassurance, when I need to know whether it is the right time or the right way, I too can cry "Abba, Father."

Maybe for others that change in address isn't all that significant. But for me, during those times in my life when I've fallen to my knees in pure desperation, being able to access not only divine assistance, but fatherly assistance is something pretty darn significant. Because I am His daughter, He knows me by name. He knows my joys and my heartaches, my dreams and my deepest insecurities. Because He is my Father, He knows what is best for me.

And so, Abba, Father, you know what is best: not what I will, but what thou wilt.

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