How do you explain Jesus’ words in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prayed with tears and blood and said, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me?” Why did Jesus pray desperately three times, “Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away from me without drinking it, let your will be done”? From these words it appears that Jesus did not want to go the way of the cross… Why? If the purpose of His coming was to die on the cross, if His death was foretold by the prophets, if this was the only way of salvation, why did He pray so desperately, saying, “Get away”? Why did Jesus call Peter “Satan” when Peter was trying to keep him from the road to death, when Jesus himself prayed “take this cup away from me”? Could Jesus be “satan” for himself? Or were Peter’s words really a great temptation to Jesus, because Jesus himself did not want to go to the cross?
Jesus was tempted in all things as we are
Jesus is God, but when he became incarnate on this earth, he had all the qualities and nature of man. The Epistle to the Hebrews tells us:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. 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. 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 4:14-16 NASB)
The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was absolutely necessary
Almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22 NASB)
God’s will was that through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, which was a perfect sacrifice, all men should receive the forgiveness of sins:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB)
Because he was also a man, Jesus was tempted to think about the things of men and not the things of God, a problem that Peter also faced when he rebuked Jesus for speaking of His death on the cross.
So the Lord Jesus asked that this cup be taken from Him, that is, death on the cross, because He was man and was tempted in all things like us, the other men. But, unlike us, the Lord Jesus was without sin, overcame all temptations, and went to be sacrificed on the cross so that each of us could have the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc