“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (v. 39).
We have this idea that Jesus went through His life, happily looking forward to the cross. We sing, “He had no tears for His own grief, but sweat- drops of blood for mine,” from Charles Gabriel’s otherwise wonderful hymn “My Savior’s Love.” In these last moments, before He would begin rushing headlong for the cross, Jesus was asking His Father if there was any other way. Jesus did not want to go through the agony of crucifixion.
We get several English words from the Latin crux. One of them is “excruciating,” which we use to describe unbearable pain. Unbearable pain was the point of crucifixion. Nails were driven through the wrists and ankles, but that was only the beginning. The nails were driven in such a way that one was supported by the nail in the ankles, but had to pull one’s self up on the nails in the wrist in order to breathe. Very often the victim had been whipped, so the lacerated back scraped up and down the rough wood of the cross. Added to this was the humiliation of being naked and held up for public spectacle.
Why would Jesus submit Himself to the Father’s will and embrace the cross? Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus went to the cross “for the joy set before him.” The joy set before Him was the salvation of sinners. His obedience even to death has saved us. (Randy J. Bland)
How marvelous, how wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous, how wonderful! Is my Savior’s love for me. — Charles Gabriel
Will you follow Jesus’ example and be obedient to the Father?