We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Let This Cup Pass, Part 1

Please know that what you are about to read is controversial and certainly subject to further evaluation and study. The controversy surrounds Jesus’ prayer to his Father–His prayer to “let this cup pass” from him (Matthew 26:39). I have never been able to reconcile the idea that Jesus was actually relinquishing his commitment to go to the cross.

In Hebrews 12 we read, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” If there was truly joy set before him to endure the cross, then it doesn’t seem reasonable that he would be asking his Father to let this cup pass from him.

It does stand to human reason that Jesus, in his humanity, was demonstrating his limitations as a man, especially as I recall his words from the cross, “My God, my God why has thou forsaken me?”

But something just doesn’t seem to add up. If Jesus was fully God and fully man, and had just spent the last three years of his life telling of his death, burial, and resurrection, then why the last minute request for the pass?

To add even more suspicion on the traditional interpretation that Jesus was helping us identify with the weaknesses of humanity, John 12 opens the floodgates of controversy.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”

John 12 takes place just prior to Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. It would appear that Jesus is saying that he can’t pray the prayer that most people think he prayed.

Confused? Take some time to ponder this and look at the Scriptures for yourself. Tomorrow we’ll take a closer look . . . I think you will be very surprised when you learn what Jesus was really praying.