"And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he 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 for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
He knew. Jesus knew what it was going to take in order to redeem sinners to a holy, righteous, pure, and just God. The sinfulness of man was eaten up to the core. No human could stand before God. Not unless there was some way for God himself to cleanse these people. Thankfully, He had a way. Jesus knew the way was painful. “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death,” This is the weight of our sins loaded upon the soul of the Son of God.
I don’t know what pain has laid before you in your own life.
Maybe you have lost a child.
Maybe you have a disease eating at your body.
Maybe death knocks on your door.
Maybe the “The cords of death encompass” you.
Maybe depression and anxiety is pushing you too far.
Maybe you feel forsaken.
Jesus has been there as well and asked the all-knowing and merciful Father if there was another way, “yet not what I will, but what you will.” Was Jesus second guessing Himself? No. He knew.
In the gospel of Matthew Jesus asks God to take the cup away from Him in His first prayer then returning to pray a second time Jesus states, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Piper helps us in understanding this transition from the first prayer that Jesus prayed.
May we not assume that the angel had come to Jesus the first time he prayed, and had made plain to Jesus that it was, in fact, not possible for the cup to be removed, but instead asks for God’s will to be done in view of the revealed fact that the “cup cannot pass.” “If this cannot pass unless I drink it [which has now been made plain to me by the coming of the angel] your will be done.”
Each of us will go through times when we end up on our knees presenting painful prayers to our God. How many of us will trust Him enough to say. “God no matter if you choose to spare me in this or not, I trust you will carry me through.” Pray like that because you have a God who can bring you through it all in His strength and in His powerful arm. Allow Him to hold you.
Talk about it
What is a difficult prayer that you have prayed before?
How did God get you through that situation?
Caleb Rawls is the pastor at Pleasant Home Baptist Church located in Laurel Mississippi. He and his wife Taylor work lead the church to love God and reach out to their community with the good news. They also have a golden-doodle named Tiglath-Pilesar IIII.
Piper, John “Your Sorrow Will Turn to Joy” Minneapolis MN, Desiring God Publishing 2016. pg 60