Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
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.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it,
may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.
So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
This scene reveals the sorrow in Jesus’ heart that night. He prayed to his Father that He would not have to go to the cross if there were any other way.
Yet He prayed the hardest prayer any of us can pray: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
When Jesus said, “May this cup be taken from me,” He was referring to the difficult thing his Father was asking Him to bear.
Yet He chose to drink the cup, even though it was painful.
Is there a cup that the Father is asking you to drink
– something that you know God wants you to do but you haven’t done yet
– an area of your life you haven’t surrendered to Him
– something about which you need to pray the prayer of Gethsemane:
“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”