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If Its Possible, Let This Cup Pass (Mark 14:32-42)

I. Introduction. A. Orientation. We now come to the Garden of Gethsemane, Where Jesus would spend His last few hours of freedom in prayer, Before He would be crucified to save His people.

This passage certainly speaks to us About how important prayer really is. Jesus was about to face His most difficult trial. He needed His Fathers help to make it through, And so He prayed. Jesus example show us That we need to pray. And of course, if Jesus needed to pray, How much more do we?

The disciples example also shows us something About how hard it is to pray. Because of the difficulty of what He was about to face He asked His disciples to join Him, Particularly, Peter, James and John (v. 33).

I think we see in them Something we often face: We lose sight of just how important prayer is. Were tempted either to fall asleep At the wheel of prayer, as it were, Or to neglect it all together. Lets be encouraged by the negative example we see here To take this precious means of grace more seriously, To do what the Lord calls us to do To pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17). B. Preview. What I want us to focus on this morning Is Jesus prayer Because it reveals something of the importance of His work: If its possible, let this hour pass by. Father, if you can save your people any other way Then let this cup Im about to drink pass from Me.

The fact that the Father didnt allow it to pass Tells us that He couldnt allow it to pass. This is the only way salvation could come. If God was to save His people It had to be through Jesus Christ

3 It had to be in this way, Otherwise, He never would have put His Son through what He did.

From this, lets consider two things: First, that Jesus had to die to save you. And second, why it had to be Jesus. II. Sermon. A. First, Jesus had to die to save you. Why do we know this is true? Because of the answer The Father gave to Jesus prayer. Jesus asked if this hour might pass, If He might not drink the cup. But that hour didnt pass, And He had to drink that cup.

Would the Father have put His Son through this If He could have saved you in any other way? Maybe we could answer this more easily If we understood better Just what He did put Him through.

To save you, He had to lay your guilt

4 The guilt of all His people On His Son The guilt of every sin you have ever committed And every sin you ever would commit And then justly punish Him Pour His wrath out on Him On the cross, For each and every one of them. Jesus literally had to experience Hell on the cross The hell you deserve The hell you would have experienced For all eternity To save you.

We can hardly imagine What this was like To experience Gods full wrath. Perhaps one thing that could give us a bit more insight Is to consider what happened to Jesus While He was praying. Luke writes, And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground (Luke 22:41-44).

Perhaps it was because Luke was a doctor That he was the only one who noted this: That blood ran down Jesus face As He was praying. People usually dont sweat blood And those who have Have done so only under the greatest duress. Thats exactly what Jesus was about to face. In his sermon entitled Christs Agony, Edwards gives us further insight into this: If the suffering of Christ had occasioned merely a violent sweat, it would have shown that he was in great agony. For it must be an extraordinary grief and exercise of mind that causes the body to be all of a sweat abroad in the open air, in a cold night as that was, as is evident from John 18:18, And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals (for it was cold), and they warmed themselves; and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. This was the same night in which Christ had his agony in the garden. But Christs inward distress and grief was not merely such as caused him to be in a violent and universal sweat, but such as caused him to sweat blood. The distress and anguish of his mind was so unspeakably extreme as to force his blood through the pores of his skin, and that so plentifully as to fall in great clots or drops from his body to the ground. What was Jesus looking at That caused Him to sweat blood? The Father must have shown Him What He was about to go through What was in the cup He was about to drink So that He might take it willingly. What He saw grieved His soul to the point of death. It made Him sweat blood.

He must have seen more than the mocking, More than the scourging, More than the agony of crucifixion. The two thieves were looking at the same thing And neither of them sweat blood. Jesus saw more than this: He was looking into the fiery oven of Gods wrath. The Father wanted Him to see this That He might know the choice That was in front of Him And make it willingly. Again, Edwards writes, Christ was going to be cast into a dreadful furnace of wrath, and it was not proper that he should plunge himself into it blindfold, as not knowing how dreadful the furnace was. Therefore that he might not do so, God first brought him and set him at the mouth of the furnace, that he might look in, and stand and view its fierce and raging flames, and might see where he was going, and might voluntarily enter into it and bear it for sinners, as knowing what it was. This view Christ had in his agony.

Its true that Jesus Seeing this in front of Him, Prayed that the cup might pass. But receiving the answer that it couldnt, And knowing what it would cost Him, He prayed for the grace to drink it, And He did drink it.

Edwards notes that all this happened While He was still free, While He still had time to escape, Before Judas came with the soldiers to betray Him. The fact that He stayed Meant that He willingly gave Himself To suffer Gods wrath for you, That you might be saved.

Now do you think the Father Would have put His Son through such agony The sight of which alone Caused Him to sweat blood If there was any other way you could be saved? If He was intending simply to forgive everyone And bring them to heaven, Or if you could get there by your works, Or come through any religion?

That would have been infinitely cruel on Gods part To make His Son suffer for nothing!

He would only have done this If there was no other way.

8 Jesus is the only Way you can be saved, Which is why you must turn from your sins And trust Him alone to save you.

B. But why did Jesus have to be the One to go through this suffering? Because He is the only One who could And who could have saved us.

Jesus looked to His Father in prayer To the One able to do all things And asked if it was possible That this cup might pass by. But it wasnt possible Because Jesus was the only One Who could drink it. He had to drink it Both to make it possible For the Father to forgive, And to save those the Father wanted to save.

Why was Jesus the only One Who could do this? For two reasons: He was the only One qualified to do so,

9 And He is the only One who could have survived.

First, He was the only One who was qualified. We were the ones who sinned. We were the ones who owed the debt. And so one of us had to pay it. Jesus became one of us He became a man So that He could.

But the debt was so great Infinitely great Because we had sinned against an infinite God. The payment had to be as great as our debt to Gods justice. Only God could make such a payment. And so thats what He did. It was God the Son, the second Person of the Triune God, That became a man And made the payment on that cross.

But second, considering what He must endure Gods wrath He was also the only One Who could have survived The making that payment.


Any mere man would have been destroyed If God had turned His full wrath on him. The only way Jesus survived Was because He is God as well as man. He was able to make the payment Because He is man, But He was able to survive Because He is God. That fact not only gave infinite value to His sacrifice, It kept His human nature from being destroyed. He alone could have survived.

Jesus had to die There was no other way He was the only One who could make the payment If anyone was to be saved.

If you want to be safe. If you dont want to face the fiery oven of Gods wrath When you die, Or be condemned and cast into the lake of fire On the Day of Gods Judgment, Then you need to come to Jesus.

11 You need His sacrifice. You need His perfect obedience. You need Him to stand between you and God. He is the only One who can save you. If you havent already, Turn from your sins And trust Him now.

For those of you who believe you have, How can you know That you have savingly trusted Him? One very obvious way is this: That you are willing From the heart To do whatever the Lord calls you to do.

Jesus said if you want to be His disciple If you want to follow Him, You must die to yourself. Pick up your cross, And follow Him. In other words, You must be willing To do what Jesus did in the garden.

12 He prayed that if it was possible That cup of suffering might pass Him by. But when He was convinced That it was His Fathers will that He go to the cross, He said, Not My will, but Yours be done.

You can know that you belong to the Lord When you are willing To do what He wants you to do, Rather than what you want to do. Even more, you can know When doing His will Is all you want to do.

If thats whats in your heart, Then you can know that Jesus lives in you And you are safe.

May the Lord give each one of us That kind of heart That finds serving Him and others To be more pleasurable Than serving ourselves. Amen.