The next time you are tempted to think, or when you hear someone say Jesus, in His human form, exhibited human weakness when, in the garden He prayed to the Father to take “this cup” from Him, I want you to remember verses 27-28:
Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour?” No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!
There is no other Scripture that backs up the idea that Jesus experienced a moment of weakness there in the garden. There are verses, however, that tell us that Jesus was determined to go to the cross.
Isaiah 50:7 Because the Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (this entire chapter speaks to the suffering Messiah. I’m not taking this verse out of context. The Messiah was determined to pay for your sins and mine, even knowing what He would have to endure to accomplish that.)
John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (Jesus never had to ask His Father to give Him permission to avoid the cross. Jesus had that authority given to Him from the start)
Luke tells us that Jesus, the night He would be arrested, was in anguish, sweating like drops of blood. Couldn’t it be that Satan was giving it his last best shot? Could it be that evil wanted Jesus dead before He could reach the cross? Could it be that “this cup” referred to that moment?
I believe that is so, because God answered His prayer at that moment. God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus there in the garden. Jesus asked for help to get to the cross, not for an excuse not to go. And God answered His prayer by sending an angel.
When Jesus prayed for Himself as recorded in John 17, He said:
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
He’s speaking as though the cross was a done deal. Not sure avoiding the cross at the last minute would have glorified the Father.
If you can show me other verses that speak to Jesus being anything but determined to go to the cross, please share them. But if you can’t, understand that you insult my Savior when you tell me He had even a moment of weakness, that He, minutes before completing His own plan to save you and me, got cold feet.
I can tell you without hesitation that Jesus, from the very beginning, planned and was determined to go to the cross to save you. There in the garden He was 100% human and 100% God. His godship was not diminished or overpowered by His humanity. (again, if I am wrong according to Scripture, please point me to those verses).
Let me ask you, why do you want to hold on to believing Jesus was pleading with His Father to get out of going to the cross? Why do you want to believe that He reluctantly said, “But I’ll do what You want, even if it’s not my will?” Why not rather believe that prayer was, “If you want me to die here in the garden, Dad, I’ll understand. I’d rather complete the mission and go to the cross. It’s up to you. Not my will, but your’s be done.”
When I think that God, Holy, Holy, Holy, all-powerful, the King of kings and Lord of lords wanted to die for someone like me, I can only fall to my face. When Scripture tells me He could have backed out at any time, that He could have just beamed Himself back to heaven, but chose to go through that anguish for me, how can I not love Him?
Believe Jesus was praying for a way out of going to cross if you want. I just happen to believe you are missing a precious truth if you do.