I'd like to show you something:
39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[e]
45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
A friend of mine referenced this verse in church last week, and once again, it troubled me.
We've been taught for years that Jesus was praying that there might be another way than the cross (the cup might pass him by).
I submit for your consideration:
Jesus was not praying that the thing that He and His Father had planned since before Earth was made would not happen.
He was praying that the temptation to not go through with it would pass.
Look at the bracketing phrases to the passage I've put in boldface.
It's one thing to pray that the upcoming test might not happen.
It's quite another to pray for the strength to go through it.
And it's another to pray that the temptation to quit goes away.
But there was another verse that hadn't even been written on paper yet, that needed to be fulfilled:
Hebrews 2 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
So the will of the Father was that he be tempted and this temptation would not pass, but be overcome.
How? " Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Makes sense to me.
Most of us struggle with recognizing God's voice.
Sometimes we think our life is difficult because we missed a turn and now we're "recalculating route" trying to get back on track.
I don't believe that anymore Sometimes our life is difficult because we needed to do a difficult thing and that was God's will.
We never know til later, sometimes much later.