Lent 1 Midweek—3rd Petition (Mt 26:1–29)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

What does [the 3rd Petition] mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

INI + AMEN.

God’s will is put on display in our reading from Matthew 26. His will is Jesus going to His death. “The Son of man goes just as it was written about Him.” What is written is most certain, what’s written happens, what’s written is what God wants to happen. It’s why He had it written down in the first place. What’s written tells us what God wants, what’s His will, His heavenly and eternal will.

Jesus betrayed and crucified. That’s what’s written. That’s what Jesus said. Jesus dead and buried. That’s written, too. He knew and said that, too. But that woman also confessed it. Anointing Jesus’ body with myrrh, she’s “made me ready for burial,” He said. Crucified. Died. Buried. That’s Jesus. That’s God’s will. He sends His only Son to do that. He eternally planned for it and did it.

But that’s not all. You see, it’s not just God’s will that Jesus “was crucified, died, and was buried.” God’s will is something far greater and more beautiful than that. “For us men and for our salvation [Jesus] came down from heaven,” and was “crucified for us under Pontius Pilate.” God’s will is that Jesus would be crucified, died, and buried for you. After all, “God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth,” to a knowledge of the Life, to a knowledge of the Way. He wants all people to have faith, hope, trust, and even love toward Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and buried not only for you but for all.

That’s what’s written, and what’s written isn’t just information. What’s written works the very faith and salvation God desires. Through His Word God’s salvation is delivered. It was accomplished for you—Jesus did it, and now, through His Word, it’s delivered. His will is: “baptize all nations,” “preach repentance and forgiveness,” “if you forgive, they’re forgiven,” “My body and blood for you to eat and drink for your forgiveness.” There God’s will, His salvation is placed on your forehead, into your hears, and into you mouth. That’s what’s written.

“The Son of man goes just as it was written about Him.” His Gifts are given, just as the Son of man gave them. All His will for you. All written for you, too. The devil, the world, and our flesh don’t want any of this. They don’t want God’s salvation, His Kingdom to come. They don’t want us or anyone for that matter to hallow God’s name by hearing and receiving His Word. And they don’t want us to think about God’s Will or even pray for it. Well, certainly not His revealed will.

That’s our trouble when we think about God’s Will. We don’t want to go to what’s most certain—His Word—in order to find out what God’s will really is. Most of the time we talk about things that God hasn’t told us.

We look for God’s will in all sorts of places. We look for it in how our lives are going. We look for it in what happens to us or what doesn’t happen to us. We need to repent of that. Now, everything is in His control. He’s God, after all. We shouldn’t make ourselves God. We shouldn’t be arrogant and think that everything comes from us. Certainly we should say, “If God wills,” I will plant or move or do whatever. Who knows whether the Lord will require your life from you today, tomorrow, or next week? That’s His will, too.

The problem is He hasn’t told us that. He hasn’t told us about the cancer or your crops or how life will be. That’s His hidden will. We need to repent of looking for that. He hasn’t revealed that to us. It’s not written for us. What He has told us is that He will save us—no matter what. What He’s told is that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What we do know is that His will is on display for us in Matthew 26. What’s written is most certain. His will is Jesus going to His death for you and for all. “The Son of man goes just as it was written about Him.” “God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of” “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He wants all people to have faith, hope, trust, and even love toward Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and buried for you and for all.

His will is: “baptize all nations,” “preach repentance and forgiveness,” “if you forgive, they’re forgiven,” “My body and blood for you to eat and drink for your forgiveness.” There God’s will, His salvation is placed on your forehead, into your hears, and into you mouth. That’s what’s written. That’s what’s certain.

His will is that His name be hallowed “when His Word is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God lead holy lives according to it.” Faith toward Him and His Son. Love for those around us. That’s what’s written. His will is for His Kingdom come. It has come. Jesus came: crucified, died, and buried. We’re called, baptized, to lead godly lives. Lives of receiving God’s Will for us—His salvation. Lives of delivering love to our neighbor.

His will for you is written. It’s eternal and sure. Nothing will stop it. He wants to save you. He already has. Jesus died and rose. You’ve been baptized, absolved, and received Jesus’ body and blood. That’s His will too. It’s what’s written. Written for you. That’s most certain. On your forehead, in your ears, into your mouth, into your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

What does [the 3rd Petition] mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

INI + AMEN.

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