He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Mat 26:39)
A cup is for drinking. But Jesus wanted nothing to do with what this cup was holding. So dreadful were it’s dregs that He fell on His face and prayed. Some bow their heads when they pray, which is a proper show of humility and reverence. Some drop to their knees, which shows adoration and dependence.
But Jesus fell on His face. This is a desperate moment. He is confronted with a situation so bad that it seems impossible to deal with — even for the Son of God.
For this cup holds the full measure of sin — every man’s sin – throughout all history, and into the future. The sinless Son of God was now being asked to take it all into Himself. So awful was the very thought of drinking this cup that Jesus sweat drops of blood.
I want you to try something for a moment. Clench your fists tightly and hold them closed. Now, tighten your arm muscles until you begin to shake. Keep holding in that position, and now tighten up your whole body — torso, legs and toes. You will not be able to breathe, and will feel blood rushing to your head. The stress you have created in your body is causing that to happen.
Can you imagine how much stress it would require for you to begin sweating drops of blood? That is what Jesus was experiencing in the Garden.
No, He did not want to drink this cup; but that is exactly what He did. The Bible says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Co 5:21). Astounding
Peter, who knew Jesus better than most, wrote, “He committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1Pe 2:22-24).
John the Beloved, closest of all the disciples to Jesus, said, “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1Jn 3:5).
How can we even imagine what this night must have been like for Jesus, the sinless Son of God? Just the very thought of drinking in the sin of mankind dropped Him to His face, and under the anguish of it all He sweat drops of blood! If this much suffering was caused just by His anticipating the Cross, then who could ever possibly imagine the suffering He experienced when He actually went through with it?