36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Jesus is getting ready to be betrayed by a friend, arrested, tortured, and eventually crucified on a cross. All of this happens because we deserved it, not Jesus. He is willing to take it all on for us. Do you notice what Jesus does when he is faced with a looming major life event? He prays. Here in Matthew 26 we see it three different times (v.36, 42, 44). Jesus goes off by himself to spend time crying out to the Father for the “cup” to be taken from him if it is God’s desire. The wrath of God is coming on the cross for the sins of all people, including you and me. Jesus isn’t anguished because he is worried about Roman soldiers. Rather, he is about to charge the hill and experience the divine wrath of God for the sins of all people. Jesus goes to the cross to endure the wrath that we deserve and the full “cup” of God’s wrath poured out on His only son Jesus. Because of that, he has an honest time of prayer with the Father about what’s to come. We see Jesus completely trust in God’s desire for him. Take some time today to be with Jesus. Praise him for willingly enduring all the wrath of God that we deserve so that we can experience the unconditional love and grace of God.