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Jesus surrendered three times at Easter

The title of my message today is “Jesus surrendered three times at Easter”. I want to read three passages, comment briefly and we will take communion together.
 
One of the most inspiring things I find in the story of Jesus’ life is the way He surrendered all. In the last week of His life, He surrendered three times. I think this is worth reflecting on this Easter.

1. Jesus Surrendered His Will in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-42)

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going 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." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He 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." (Matthew 26:36-42)

A short time before Jesus was crucified He went to a place called Gethsemane to spend some time in prayer with the Father. He was deeply troubled, as He knew that soon He would be going to die a painful death on the cross. He threw Himself on the ground and cried out to God, “Take this cup from Me, but still not My will but Yours.” In this one sentence He expressed His heart to God the Father, and He surrendered His will completely.

2. Jesus Surrendered His Rights at Gabatha (Matthew 27:11-26)

Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor. Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him." But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered. "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!" All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27:11-26)

When Jesus was taken before Pilate He was taken to a place called Gabatha or the Pavement as it is sometimes known. Pilate questioned Him about the charges brought against Him by the Jewish leaders, but Jesus chose to be silent and do the will of the Father. In doing this Jesus surrendered His rights. Jesus stood firm when He was challenged and kept focussed on the bigger picture – the salvation of mankind.

3. Jesus Surrendered His life at Golgotha (Matthew 27:32-38)

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. (Matthew 27:32-38)

Bible scholars tell us that the name of the place where Jesus was crucified was called Golgotha. The heart of the gospel message is that Jesus died on the cross for the sin of mankind. He did this so we could all find salvation and live for eternity with Him. At any stage Jesus could have changed His mind and not gone through with the crucifixion, but He didn’t. He chose to surrender all. He did not even hold back His own life.

Closing

Just before we take communion today I want to ask you some questions. Where are you in your relationship with the Lord? Have you surrendered your will? Have you surrendered you rights? Have you surrendered your life to Jesus? If you would like to surrender your life afresh you can prayer this right now.

Dear Lord Jesus,
I thank You that You surrendered Your life for us on the cross. I thank You that you paid the price for our sin when You died on the cross for us. If there is any unconfessed sin in our lives, please forgive our sin now. We thank You for being both our Lord and Saviour. Right now, we now surrender our rights, our will and our lives to You afresh, In your name, Amen.

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