And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. Mark 14:35
What is it like to grieve over the inevitable? Knowing there is a countdown to a prayer, to suffering? Shedding heavy tears, sweating drops of blood to a relationship about to be severed?
“Father, please, thank you. This cup is bitter, this cup is sweet. And I know why. But you prepared it, so I’ll drink.”
Not Obligated But Obedient
What kind of fairness was Jesus asking for from His Father in Gethsemane? None, that cup was poured before the world began (John 6:38). It was not equality Jesus was crying out for that night; it was His Father’s affection He pleaded for, the comfort, the strength that comes from obedience (Luke 22:43). Sin, the measure of that cup, the willingness of Christ, was the ultimate show of sacrifice (Romans 5:19). This request, the very human side of Christ, in prayer, wasn’t a way of escaping mocking, agony, and brutality, but the total and complete offering of Himself, His death for our new life, His life (John 3:17).
Why would a loving God want us to be prayerfully obedient? And not just obedient? For the reason that difficult times turn us inward, towards us. ‘No one knows this kind of pain, not even God.’ And it’s natural to lean that way. It’s just not a place for us to reside. We tend to look at loss, suffering, heartache, and even death as weights and not as obedience. Oh, but they are. Jesus prayed God’s will in to His human condition and not His own…and was strengthened right into the hands of His betrayers (Mark 14:42).
Jesus’ prayers to His Father at every twist, turn, and trial was to give the glory right back to God, regardless of the trying times (John 17:1).
Victor Not Victim
Jesus promises believer’s tribulation but with the beautiful price He has already paid (John 16:33). We Christians, in prayer, should fall harder than ever to see Jesus clearer than ever.
So let’s go Christians, no matter how brief or extended our challenges, Jesus is our measure.