“And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’” Mark 14:36
As Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, the day before he died on a cross, he prayed this prayer. He saw the cup of wrath and suffering that God had in store and asked to be released from it, but then he showed complete obedience to the Father with the next statement, “nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
We can learn so much from Jesus in this one prayer. We know he endured the most brutal of all human sufferings and yet he was still able to do it with joy (“who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2). He turned from the worldly view of getting through life with as little pain as possible and said to his Father, let your will be done in my life. The victory of the cross was won as Jesus uttered those words of obedience and followed the will of God for his life. He decided to take and drink the cup of wrath so that we could take and drink the cup of redemption in his place. If he had chosen to go a different route and seek a life other than what the Father desired, we would never be able to see heaven’s glory because his sacrifice would never have washed us clean of our sins.
This is the great redemption story, that Jesus accomplished the will of God which, in turn, means we can spend eternity with him, but the point I want to make is this: if you are suffering in this life, know that Jesus sees every ounce of your pain. He knows exactly what it feels like. He didn’t go through his life suffering-free. He himself has cried tears of sadness (John 11:35) and he knows and holds every tear that you’ve cried (Psalm 56:8). He is with you in your suffering and in your joy. He is with you always (Matthew 28:20). He desires that you submit to him and obey the will of his Father because there is no better place to be than inside the will of God. God is the one who sees what you want, but he knows what you need. There is more for you in following his will than doing what you think is best. Let us learn from Jesus in this passage, that even in our suffering we can say to the Lord, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Despite what is happening in my life currently or what is to come in the future, I decide to be obedient to your will. We can rest in the fact that Jesus took our ultimate suffering and separation from God and instead let us stand in his place of righteousness before the Father. And because of that we can trust that God is the one who does exceedingly abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine when we are following his direction for our lives.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV