It’s been said, “Salvation is free, but it was not cheap.” When the reality of the cross—the cruelest death the Roman Empire could devise—loomed just ahead, Jesus felt that with awful clarity. He had purposefully come to this city and this moment. Even so, the question came: “Father, isn’t there some other way?”
- Mark says that even in the uncertainty and anguish he felt in Gethsemane, Jesus called God the Aramaic word abba. It was a close family word—the nearest English parallel is “daddy.” What light does that cast on Jesus’ spirit of complete trust? How good are you at continuing to trust God when things turn difficult in your life?
- Pursuing God’s will is sometimes costly. When have you struggled over a choice or a sacrifice that you believed God was calling you to make? In today’s devotional reading, Pastor Hamilton asks, “Are you willing, even grudgingly, to go where God calls and do what God asks, regardless of the cost?”
So, there are always at least three answers to prayer, I am pretty good with two of them. Ok, I am good with one, will deal with the other and often strongly dislike the third. Those answers are: Yes, Wait, and No, I don’t think I need to explain to you which answer I don’t like, am sure you don’t like No any better than I!
I am certain that Jesus knows the answer, but I think in his asking three times that God might “remove this cup from me;” shows his full humanity. He also shows his complete trust in the words… “not what I want, but what you want.” or more classically… Not my will but thy will be done.
The good news in this passage from me is that God is willing and even maybe wants to hear my prayer when I know what the answer will be. God doesn’t mind a little whining on occasion and will walk with us though our gardens of doubt and struggle.