Scripture Reading: Mark 14:26-50
“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Powerful words spoken by a humble servant in the final hours of his life. The contrast presented in this passage is hard to miss. Peter is told he will soon deny Jesus three times. The disciples Peter, James, and John are unable to follow Jesus’ wishes and stay awake for even an hour. Judas of Iscariot, a man who followed Jesus for three years, betrays Jesus and delivers him into the hands of his killers. But Jesus, in one of his most difficult hours, alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, cries out to his Father to remove the pain, betrayal, and forsakenness that soon awaited him, and then beautifully submits to his Father’s will.
Scripture is clear that Jesus willingly laid down his life (John 10:18), and that he did so in humility, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). So Jesus in humility willingly goes to the cross, but he is clear with his request when he prays to God, “if there is another way please Father let us take it.” Jesus is God but he is also human, and he did not want the nails, the crown of thorns, and the wrath of God poured upon him, but what he did desire, more than he desired protecting himself from great suffering, was his Father’s will. In his article ‘Not My Will Be Done,’ Jon Bloom writes, “No one understands better than God how difficult it can be for a human to embrace the will of God.” The cross was not easy for Jesus, but he endured it so that his Father’s will would be fulfilled. The love he has for his Father compelled him to give his life as a ransom for many.
As you meditate on this passage, remember that God’s will for our lives is rarely easy, in fact it is often difficult and accompanied with great suffering. But it is good! Jesus knew this, and trusted it so much so that he was willing to go to the cross. Let us take up our cross and follow in his steps!
Prayer: As you consider God’s will for your life, what he has called you to or perhaps is calling you to, ask him to protect you from responding with denial like Peter, or with an inability to remain attentive when he needs us like the disciples, or more than that, that God would protect us from turning our backs on him and walking away like Judas. Cry out to God and ask him to make you like Jesus, that you would in humility be obedient to his will. No matter the cost, no matter the pain, no matter what, that you would endure it all because you are compelled by your love for him.