He knew what the cup would hold
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.”
Jesus spoke these words the night before he was to die on the cross. As God, Jesus certainly knew what this cup would hold: sudden arrest, a kangaroo court, beating, whipping and the most painful method of execution known to man. But as God, he could have easily avoided the entire ordeal. So, why would he ask, as if there were any choice in the matter? And why would God the Father deny such a request?
I believe the answer is, there was no other way. That’s the very reason God allowed us to overhear this conversation. This is God, telling God, that there is simply no other way for man’s sin-debt to be paid off, and there was no way that man could have fellowship with God until it was.
It was not decided that night that Jesus would take the cross. This decision was made at the beginning of time. The prophets in the Old Testament predicted Jesus’ crucifixion hundreds of years before.
Jesus once asked, “Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?”
The prophet Isaiah said that not only was God willing for this to happen but he was pleased! Any parent will make a sacrifice to help their children out of a jam. We are happy to do it. But how many would be pleased to do that if the cost was the life of our first-born child? Only if that parent had an unsurpassed love for those other children. Only if that parent was God himself.
Jesus’ statement that night was not a request to escape the cross but a confirmation that this was the Father’s will. He said it knowing that we would be eavesdropping two thousand years later.
He didn’t ask it for his sake, but for ours.
Jack Crandall is assistant pastor of Calvary Chapel of Carson Valley.