Speak the Truth:
saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Talk the Talk:
Every great story has a climax, the most exciting part of the plot. All the action climbs to reach one particular point where the protagonist confronts a crucial choice. The reader is compelled to keep flipping the pages to find out what will happen. Will it all turn out in the end? Will the bad guys lose? Will the protagonist win? Will the damsel in distress get rescued? The Bible, the collection of Truth that all builds up to Jesus, is no different. Everything from Genesis on builds up to Jesus Christ.
Fully God and fully man, His ministry personified the demonstration of truth and love. He taught, falling in love with the people He created. He saw the sin laden fallen world and it broke His heart. He looked past the ugly and into the hearts of the people. He knew they needed a Savior. His whole ministry was leading Him to a certain point and like any person, He had a choice. He had faced temptation before and walked away sinless. Would He continue to demonstrate obedience and avoid temptation?
My heart begins beating fast when I read this verse. I close my eyes and try to picture the scene. Nightfall. Jesus. The disciples. The garden. The olive trees. The sounds and smells of the evening. Not only the seen world causes my imagination to churn, but also the unseen world. The angelic warriors and saints of old….I can almost hear heaven take a collective breath. Waiting. Could they hear the pounding heartbeat of Jesus? Did they witness the angst? Did they look on the Father’s face as He watched His beloved Son sweat blood as comprehension dawned into reality? “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
According to scripture, Jesus was a stone’s throw away from the disciples as He was agonizing. A stone’s throw away. The disciples were exhausted, sleeping…..and yet, He was right there, not strategizing with them, not making an escape plan, not trying to control the situation. No, He urged them to pray to avoid temptation. He knew the dangers of what was ahead. They wanted a military leader, one to lead a revolt, one to yield power over the people. Jesus knew this wasn’t the will of His Holy Father. Jesus battled on His knees, crying out to God. He knew another path had been laid from the foundation of the world. He knew the future of His beloved hung in the crux of His total and complete submission to God. The God He knew. The God He trusted.
Fast forward to your life. Your circumstances…..what you know and what you don’t know. What you see and what you don’t see. What you worry about. Your children’s health, your marriage, your parents, your careers, your health, your money, your………..whatever you hold near and dear to you, close to your heart….can you pray this prayer over it? Not my will, but yours.
Walk the Walk:
My brain hurts when I truly think through all the dynamics of this part of scripture, yet it all played out and resulted in the ultimate sacrifice to ensure my eternal security. Jesus submitted and took everything on Himself so that we might be reconciled with our Creator for eternity. I have prayed this prayer over certain situations in my life, and I must tell you it was exhausting. It is a battle where the Holy Spirit, praise God, reigns supreme.
Thank you for being an example of true submission. Thank you for knowing me intimately. Thank you for demonstrating obedience to the Father. Continue to teach me, Lord Jesus. Continue to show me how to pray to avoid temptation. Not my will, but Yours. Not my will, but Yours.