Not as I will
Published 8:58 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Consider the events that unfolded in the Garden of Gethsemane as recorded in Matthew 26. Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray. He also went there to be arrested.
Upon arriving in Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples to wait for Him while He went off to pray. He took Peter, James and John with Him a little further, but eventually told them to wait as well while He prayed by Himself. There in the Garden of Gethsemane that night, Jesus prayed the most submissive prayer that has ever been prayed. He prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Then He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. After rebuking them, He went back to pray some more. This time He prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Jesus was perfectly in tune with the will of the Father. He knew the plan for His life. He knew why He had taken on flesh to dwell among men.
Once again, He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. This time He would not retire to pray again. Instead He said, “See, the hour is at hand, and the son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” The Bible tells us that while Jesus was still speaking, Judas appeared.
Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, and Jesus was arrested. But not without Peter first attempting to rise to His defense. Though Jesus had spoken to His disciples often about His pending death, they still did not understand. They did not understand that Jesus had an appointment with destiny. He would give His life as a ransom for many. He would give His life for them.
Then Jesus was arrested. His disciples deserted Him. And He was on His way to the cross. There is something I want you to see in all of this. Jesus’ enemies had been out to get Him for a while now. He was creating quite the stir, and they wanted to stop it. But they had been unable to do anything until now. His time had not yet come. Until now.
You can imagine how the disciples felt. It seemed as if things were spiraling out of control as Jesus was arrested and taken away. What would happen to Jesus? What was going to become of their lives? Would they be arrested and killed as well? They couldn’t see the whole picture.
But as you observe the way Jesus responded to all of this, you never get the sense that He felt like things were unraveling. He knew that things were taking place exactly as planned. He knew that the Father was bringing all things about according to His good plans to save a people for Himself. He knew that. He understood it. And He submitted Himself to it.
What a picture of calmness! He was in the Father’s hands. He knew that God was in control. He trusted Him, even to the point of death.
Oh that we would experience this kind of deep seated trust in the plans of the Father in our lives! He is sovereign. He is in control. He is orchestrating all things according to His good purposes. May we pray with Jesus, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.