And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
The Garden of Gethsemane sleeps softly; unaware the Son of the One True God is troubled. His sandals turn up tiny puffs of dirt walking away from friends to speak to His Father. Some strides deeper into the garden, He stops. His heart is thumping violently; His forehead is drenched in sweat. He is overwhelmed. This Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief, can no longer stand as He falls on His face in prayer… …let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. Matthew 26:39 ESV …get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do You want? Matthew 26:39 MSG
Jesus asks and the Father says, “No.” Ponder that for a moment. Jesus the Son petitioned God the Father for another way and He was denied. God is not a villain here. He is just and must respond to sin. The Father’s “No” is a tender but firm response speaking to our vast brokenness by sin and the enormity of Jesus’ sacrifice. As Good Friday approaches, may we fully grasp, as much as our hearts can comprehend, the aching plea and the just denial of that night in the garden.