Surrendering

Mark 14:35-36
And he went forward a little, and 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 unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Perhaps no moment in Jesus’ life reveals His humanity more than this one.  Here He is on the eve of His crucifixion.  He knows what awaits Him.  He’s already foretold His own death and the manner of it.  The Passover was eaten, and the time to offer up the true Lamb of God had come.  This was the reason He had come in the first place.  And yet the pain of it, the sorrow of it, the heaviness of it weighed upon His heart.  He sought His Father, His Abba, and appealed for mercy, for some other way, for the cup to pass from Him.  But it could not be so.

Here we see in Jesus’ desperate prayer that He was a man like unto us, that He experienced what we would feel when faced with the same daunting prospect.  But perhaps this moment more than most in His life reveals how different He is from us, because He totally submitted to God’s will.  He trusted God with this situation, with His life, with His future.  He did not rail against God or question Him or refuse to obey.  He did not defy or rebel.  He did not turn His back on God if He couldn’t have His way.

That is so unlike us at times.  Sometimes we’re willing to pray with faith but without submission.  Sometimes we expect to get everything we want from God exactly when and how we want it as if He exists to meet our every demand.  Sometimes His will for us is not what we ask for, and we end up bitter and rebellious or we turn away from Him for good.  Sometimes we’re not willing to entrust the whole of our lives into His hands.

In the end, though, the kind of relationship that Jesus had with His Father is the kind of relationship that His death invites us into.  We can come before God and call Him Father.  We can make our requests known.  We can lay before Him every hurt, sorrow, fear, and question we have.  And we can choose to submit, or not, when He reveals His will to us.  Jesus always took the high road, and that’s often the hard road.  But may we follow in the footsteps of our Savior and place everything in the Father’s hands and accept His will for our lives.

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