Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

Just prior to the soldiers arriving Jesus had prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). In response to his prayer, an angel had appeared from heaven and strengthened him.

These verses show us Jesus’ willingness to obey his Father’s will even when it clashed with his own desires. He kept on praying until he was willing to lay down his life. It wasn’t something he did lightly or something that was out of his control. He had been fully aware the time would come for him to lay down his life and even foretold it, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus doesn’t just say he loves us but demonstrates it by his willingness to lay down his life. When I think of the cross and the significance of the events that took place, I am overwhelmed with a God who loves like that. It makes any sacrifice on my part seem small and insignificant.

These verses also show us the Father’s response to his prayer; he sent an angel to strengthened Jesus. God doesn’t always rescue us from difficult circumstances. More often he equips us to cope. It necessitates a willingness on our part to receive God’s comfort and support. We won’t find God’s comfort if our prayers are solely focused on God removing “the cup” from us. However, as we’re open to God and willing for his purposes to be realised, he will strengthen, comfort and encourage us.

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