Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” -Matthew 26:39
These words of Jesus were spoken to the Father not once, not twice, but three times as He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane. We see our Savior in anguish over what was to come, glorious face to the earth, blood-sweat dropping to the ground, sorrowful and exhausted… desiring another way, but embracing the Father’s way.
The Father’s way… the way that requires the shedding of blood. A Holy God cannot look at sinful man but for the blood of a spotless Lamb. The Father’s way was difficult, was painful, was humbling… but was perfect. A perfect sacrifice. And Jesus, the Son of God, wept, and relented to the Father’s way. “Not my will, but thine.” He willingly embraced death on a cross…
But perhaps, just maybe, it wasn’t death on a cross that He didn’t want to face. Maybe it wasn’t the torture and humiliation that was to come. Maybe, maybe it was sin. Our sin. My sin. Sin placed upon the perfect Lamb of God that would separate Him from the Father. There was physical pain, no doubt, that would be endured on that old rugged cross, but that was no comparison to the pain that would felt in those moments of utter darkness as the Father became Holy God, unleashing His wrath over sin once and for all. The Son of God became sin- Perfection destroyed under the weight of my sin. The one thing He did not know was sin- and He took it for me.
Praise God, that wasn’t the end of the story! The world thought it had won, Satan got a taste of victory, but the war was far from over. As the blood was shed, new life began… and on the third day, He rose again. The grave was defeated, death reigned no more, and the promise of eternity was fulfilled for all who believe. Victory, sweet victory, in Jesus!