A response to Then Came Jesus by Lara Williams :: Week 4, Day 1
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:36-46 NKJV)
“…let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
This small bit of text reveals something to me that I often miss: Jesus didn’t want to be crucified. And really, I can’t blame Him. It was going to be a horrific and painful death and He knew it. Not only would He have to suffer the physical pain, but also the pain that would come when God poured out His wrath for all of mankind’s sin onto His only Son.
But despite Jesus desire to avoid the cross, He had an even stronger desire to do the Father’s will.
“O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
The cup of sorrow, the cup of pain, the cup to despair. Have you ever felt like those have been served to you? You don’t want to drink from them, you just want to hand them back to the server and say no, thank you.
But what if the server is God? What if He is asking you to go through something you’d rather not? Do you still hand the cup back to Him and say no, thank you?
Jesus, respectfully asked for a different cup, but ultimately obeyed His Father and drake from the cup of the cross because He trusted His Father. He knew that the Father had the best plan. He knew that the Father had His best interests at heart. He knew that the Father has eternal perspective and sees the final outcome.
Do we know that?
We don’t like to believe it, but yes, sometimes the Lord puts us in uncomfortable situations, surrounds us with painful circumstances, or asks us to do unbearable tasks. He doesn’t do this to rob us of joy or to punish us. He does these things because He knows how we will change through the process. He knows the final outcome. He knows His plans can draw us closer to Him…
…if only we would trust Him.
Lord, I know that You will never ask me to drink from the same cup as You ased Your son. I thank You, Jesus, that I never have to pay the debt for my sins. You have already paid it for me. I am grateful beyond words. But even though I will never have to suffer that pain, I do know that You will ask me to drink from a cup or two that I would rather not. I pray that in those instances You would remind me to turn to You, to look to You to be my strength, my comfort, and my refuge. Draw me closer to You, Lord, even if it hurts. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Are you reading Then Came Jesus or another advent study? What is God revealing to you? Please let me know by leaving a comment. You can also find out more about Lara Williams and her book Then Came Jesus here.