In the Garden

David Bast

READ : Matthew 26:36-56

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” (v. 39)

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” (v. 39)

Here is a sight: Jesus sorrowing, sweating, crying out to be delivered from the terrible prospect before him. Jesus was human. When faced with death, he looked for a way out. When the dark hours of suffering descended, he asked his friends to watch with him. And when they failed him, he was disappointed.

But it wasn’t just the physical or emotional pain that troubled Jesus. What weighed so upon him was something he called “this cup”—God’s holy judgment upon sin. For Jesus, accepting the cup meant experiencing the dreadful curse of separation from his Father.

Jesus neither deserved nor desired that. Humanly, he hoped there could be some other way: “My Father, if it is possible . . .” Don’t you think that if he could, God would have granted that prayer? But some things are not possible even for God. It was not possible for God to forgive sins in any other way than for Jesus to accept sin’s punishment upon himself.

And if it was not possible for Jesus to save us in any other way than by dying in our place, do you suppose it is possible for you and me to be saved in any other way than by trusting in him?


Lord Jesus, teach me to pray, “Not my will, but yours be done.”