Day 5 Read: Matthew 26:39
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Reflect: What does Jesus’ example in the garden teach you about meekness?
Consider: The petition is “let this cup pass away from me.” In the Old Testament the “cup” has associations of suffering and of the wrath of God (e.g., Ps. 11:6; Isa. 51:17; Ezek. 23:33), and we should observe the same kind of symbolism here Jesus’ death meant suffering, and because it was a death for sin, there are associations of the wrath of God connected to it. We are not to think of Jesus facing death with the passionate longing for martyrdom that has characterized fanatics throughout history. The death he faced was a horrible death, and he experienced the natural human shrinking from undergoing such an ordeal. So he prayed that if it were possible it might be avoided.5
Respond: Have you ever experienced a personal struggle that has made it difficult for you to submit to God’s will? How did you handle the situation, and what would you do differently if you had another chance to walk through it?
5 Leon Morris, The Gospel according to Matthew, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), 668–669.