35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:35-36 NIV)
On Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples. They remembered how God had delivered His people who had been under Pharaoh’s thumb for more than 400 years. They recalled how God had “passed over” the Hebrew homes where the blood of the lamb had been smeared over the door frames of their houses. The disciples listened intently as Jesus took the cup and unleavened bread and told them their real meaning was found in Him–the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sins of the world.
After the meal they sang a hymn. I would love to know exactly what they were singing. When they finished singing, Jesus said, “Come and follow Me.” He walked with them to the Garden of Gethsemane. Once they reached the Garden Jesus left the disciples, went further into the Garden where He could be alone with the Father, and fell to the ground in prayer. He cried out, “Daddy, Father…” Mark uses the word, “Abba,” but this Aramaic word is the most intimate word a child can use when calling for his dad. Jesus confessed, “Everything is possible for you.” No words could be more true. God can do it. If He could part the Red Sea and make a way for a bunch of former slaves, then He could make a way for His own Son. If He could raise the Shunammite mother’s son back to life then He could spare the life of His own Son. (2 Kings 4:32-37 NIV) If He could cleanse the leprous Naaman by having him dip himself in the Jordan, then surely He could figure out another way to cleanse sinners of their sin. (2 Kings 5:10-14 NIV) Jesus knew that God could do anything so surely He could remove this cup of suffering that Jesus was about to drink.
He could, but He wouldn’t. Jesus knew He wouldn’t. Jesus knew that God could do anything, but He also knew that the Cross was the Father’s will so He prayed, “Yet not what I will, but what You will.” Jesus knew what was awaiting Him as He rode into Jerusalem as the crowds cheered on Sunday. On Sunday, He knew Friday was coming. There is one thing that Jesus wanted more than to escape the suffering of Friday’s Cross–He wanted to restore you and me to the Father. So He prayed, “Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
My prayer today, Lord, is that I would want Your will for my life more than I want anything in all of life. As much as I want to avoid pain and suffering, let me long for Your will even more.