Fear Turns To Confidence

He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” (Mark 14:36)

Jesus knew he was going to die.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree that at least three times, Jesus told his disciples he was going to be murdered..
But Mark makes plain Jesus did not want to die.

More vividly than the other gospel writers, Mark describes Jesus’ panic in the garden.  In Matthew Jesus prayed “if it be possible, let this cup pass.”  Luke has it “if you are willing, remove this cup from me.”  In Mark, however, Jesus is more direct.  First, he leans heavily on his relationship with God calling him “abba Father” (or daddy, father).  It’s the only time Jesus uses this most familial of addresses.  Then, he says “all things are possible for you.  Remove this cup from me.”  It’s not a request, but a cry of desperation.

You have to see all this to appreciate what follows.  They don’t forcibly drag Jesus away, kicking and screaming.  Jesus willingly goes to meet the mob, and then goes with them.  And though the story that follows is shorter in Mark than the other accounts, it’s obvious Jesus is in charge all the way.  He criticizes the mob for their hypocrisy.  He refuses to answer the High Priest except to warn him of impending judgment – a judgment Jesus himself will inflict.  He refuses to answer Pilate except to affirm that he is king of the Jews.

Jesus will go to his death in control all the way, because he had, in the end, entrusted himself to God.  In days of difficulty we pour out our hearts to God for deliverance.  Sometimes it is received.  Sometimes not.  Either way, life is to be lived under His hand, and that means there comes a time when prayers for deliverance stop.  Not because we lose faith, but because we have resigned ourselves to the will of God, and trust Him to see us through.

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