36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36
I woke up reflecting on these words recently. Surely there isn’t a more poignant, potent expression of intimacy, love and devotion found in the whole of scripture. Jesus knows that the air is charged with conflict and strife. Jesus knows that Rome is bearing down on him and his fledgling movement of followers. Jesus knows that those in charge see him as a threat to the systems they have in place. And Jesus, knowing all of this, goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Falling to his knee’s he prays these words ‘Abba Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’
And in these words, we read complete trust, complete intimacy, a relational connection that in unaffected by sin. Think about it, if you or I were in Jesus shoes, we would be finding every way to convince ourselves that we had heard wrong, that God couldn’t possibly want us to head ever closer towards the cross. We would have a good, rational, theological reason to back up our claim.
Jesus does none of this. Jesus doesn’t try to place limitations on God or give reasons for why this isn’t Gods will. Jesus doesn’t tell God what God must do. Jesus simply says ‘everything is possible for you’ and backs it up with ‘but not what I will, but what you will’. Acknowledging that nothing is outside of Gods grasp and influence, Jesus submits himself to do what must be done. For you. For me. For God. So that we might be able to also find intimacy, trust and deep fellowship with God once more.
God on the cross, help us to come with the same abandon, the same complete trust that we see in Jesus in the garden of Gethsemene. As we seek to live out of and usher in your kingdom in our community, help us to follow even when the road is difficult. May we be good news to those who desperately need to hear it. Amen.