“And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will’” (Mark 14:35-36).
Jesus was troubled in the garden of Gethsemane. His humanity is on full display as he is greatly distressed, troubled, and sorrowful (Mark 14:33-34). His disciples are no help to him as his hour has come (Mark 14:41).
In one sense, it was possible for this hour to pass from him. Jesus eagerly acknowledges that for God the Father all things are possible (Mark 14:36). However, Jesus resigns himself that what is possible is not necessarily best. He must suffer. He must drink the cup. The cup in Scripture is none other than the cup of God’s wrath (Isaiah 51:17, 22).
Jesus was neither indifferent nor stoic as he approached the cross. In the most endearing terms—Abba, Father—he makes clear his request that this cup be removed from him. The joy set before him was that he would be giving his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). But the impending agony drove him to his Father. Throughout Mark’s gospel Jesus reveals that he is both the Christ and the Suffering Servant. Now he uses his authority to resign himself to the will of his loving, Heavenly Father.
We know what would have happened had Jesus aborted this mission. We would be the ones drinking the cup of the wrath of God toward our sin. We would be groping for a substitute and have none. We would never be able to call God, “Abba, Father,” as we now have the privilege to do (Romans 8:15). His distress, trouble, and sorrow in Gethsemane were just the start of what he would endure for us.
These verses are a remedy for the heart that wonders, “Does he love me?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” May we never lose the wonder of what it cost Christ to drink the cup of God’s wrath for us.