It’s just a few feet, a stones throw from his friends, but he falls to the earth. I can imagine his senses are on high alert. He can hear every creature in the bushes; he can feel the dirt beneath his feet, his knees, his hands as he cries out to the one who can save him.
In anguish, in anticipation of what is to come to him.
He knows. And yet he prays, fully man, fully God. He prays to the one who can save him.
“Take this cup from me!”
It is inconceivable what he will do. The lengths he will go in obedience for you and I. It is so real, so raw, the pain begins before the pain begins.
And in a desperate moment of humanness, he cries out, “Take this cup from me!” Yet in the same breath, Jesus condemns his plea to the Father; His will be done.
The Father will stop at nothing until He is reconciled to his creation, once and for all. This is it.
He knows God can take it, this torture, and humiliation, and hell. God can take it. He’s God, He can do anything.
Yet this is it. Jesus has already shown us heaven come to earth. He has already lived among us, teaching us a new way, to love our enemies, to forgive and live generously, with passion and all we have been given. He’s already told us, the kingdom of heaven is within us, walking beside us, so close we can taste it if we want. Our communion with Him.
But this final act of obedience, of complete surrender of body and spirit, this is the final act God requires. He requires it on behalf of a people who still don’t get it. A people who are not desperate for Him the way He is for us – a people who are stubborn, who place their affections in things and in more, always more.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup…”
But the Father isn’t willing. He isn’t willing to spend one second of now or eternity without His children, His creation, His masterpieces. He watches His Son drink this sin-filled cup of ours and drinks it down to the last drop. The Son, Jesus, beloved of God, learns to obey through his surrender to His Father, our Father.
God, desperate for us? Willing, yes, to witness the death of His perfection, to run with us again; run with us here on this earth and never stop running with us. He desires it more than we know.
What are you desperate for right now? Is there a cup at your fingertips, so close you can feel it without actually touching? Are you talking to God about it? Are you crying to him about it? How desperate are you?
It’s only a few steps and we’re there, at his feet, in submission to his will, learning the obedience of the Son. His is a love-filled obedience that seeks not only to save us, but restore us with his power, his strength, his courage, his grace. It’s incredibly mysterious, but I think I’m beginning to know it.
I’m desperate for it. I’m surrendering.
“…not my will, but yours be done.”