02 December, 2016

Matthew 26:39—“… if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matt. 26:39 KJV. Cf. Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).

Some take this text to mean that Jesus “wished” not to die on the cross, but that nevertheless He “wanted” to die on the cross for the sake of His divine mission; that in a real sense, Christ’s will was sometimes contrary to the will of His Father.
This supposed interpretation is then used as a basis to support the notion that God has two desires or wills: one will/desire to save all men, and another will/desire not to save all men [but to save only the elect].


Prof. David J. Engelsma

The prayer, “Let this cup pass from me,” was not whatsoever rebellion against the will of the Father. That it was not is evident from the conditional phrase attached, “If it be possible,” that is, if and only if it can be in accord with and subject to the will of the Father concerning the salvation of the church. As a man, Christ did not know that there was no other way to fulfil the will of the Father than the cross. Rather than expressing any contradiction of the will of the Father, the petition expresses the dreadful agony of the cross and the obedience of Christ to the will of the Father at all cost: not my will but thine be done. In the petition, Christ did not will something different than what the Father willed. Rather, if the Father could will another way than the cross, that would be the will of the Son in human nature.



More to come! (DV)

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