Why did Jesus not want to drink the cup of suffering?


Reading the Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 26, I do not understand exactly why Jesus refused to drink the cup of suffering? I understand that in that context drinking the cup of suffering meant accepting to sacrifice Himself for the sins of mankind.

To better understand this passage let’s see…

When did Jesus not want to drink the cup of suffering?

In the Gospel of Matthew it is written:

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying, so that you do not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink from it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let’s go; behold, the one who is betraying Me is near!” (Matthew 26:36-46 NASB)

In this prayer the Lord Jesus was referring to the sufferings that lay ahead of Him, because He was to be offered as an atonement for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus was tempted not to drink the cup of suffering

In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is written thus about the Lord Jesus:

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NASB)

The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, being in the flesh, was tempted in all things as we are. Thus, in the face of such a torturous death, when He was about to take upon Himself the curse for the sins of the whole world, He was tempted and asked the Father to turn away from Him that cup. However, the Lord Jesus, even though he was tempted in all things that we are, remained and lived without sin. He drank the cup of the curse that each of us had to drink. Glory be to His Name for the great redemption He brought us after drinking this cup. Because…

Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. (Hebrews 4:16 NASB)

So help us God.

Translated by Didina Vicliuc