Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” ~ Mark 14:35-36
I had a trying moment Sunday morning during the observance of the Lord’s Supper with my church family. I read that verse and came pretty close to losing all composure. I wasn’t certain I could stay at the sound board anymore, or that I could do what I needed to do there.
Read it again with me, as I did then:
“Everything is possible for You.”
I have never known Jesus to be wrong or mistaken about anything. If He believed something to be true, it was true. He believed it was possible for the hour to pass from Him, because everything was possible for God.
It’s just five words in the English language, and only Mark’s gospel includes them.
That’s not to say that Jesus never said the same thing in other contexts; He did. Like Mark 10:27. And Luke 18:27. Once He even told a desperate man with a tortured child, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
Yet the context in Gethsemane is the fate of the world and it is bearing right down on His weary shoulders and He is God’s Son and God can do anything.
He could accept a lesser sacrifice … just as He had done with Abraham. (Genesis 22) It didn’t have to be His Son, His only Son, arrested and pummeled and run all over town and tried and mocked and spat upon and whipped within an inch of His life and crucified six hours to take that last inch.
It was possible.
All Jesus had to do was say the word and twelve legions of angels would have appeared to rescue Him.
But the word He said instead was, “Yet…”
Both Father and Son knew that He had to submit to this final act of obedience. The prophecies could not be unwritten. The destiny could not be transferred. The Story had to be lived out; fulfilled to the fullest … for it would be the Story that would win millions back to God.
Do you think Jesus struggled with questions of theodicy in Gethsemane? Do you think He took them personally?
He did, you know. All the way to the cross … and the tomb … and glory.
The writer of Hebrews 5:8 says He learned obedience through what He suffered. The hard way. The hardest way. He obeyed fully, because we could not.
So I beg you to deal with that now, right now, and don’t put it off until you’re struggling with theodicy or dealing with something you feel is unfair in your life or carrying a burden you feel God has given you that is too much to bear. Or even when you’re running a sound board during a worship service with your church family.
Everything is possible with God.
Everything is possible for those who believe.
Including surviving six hours on a cross when nearly bled to death.
And forgiving the thief next to you and the traitor who turned you in and all of humanity for standing around while you perish yet doing nothing.
And living again, a glorious life, renewed and redeemed and beloved by God in His home with His family, forever and ever and ever.
If it can be done with His Son, it can be done with you and me.
It’s God’s will for us.
Anything that’s His will, He makes it possible.