Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"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" (Matthew 26:39). What does this verse mean? Why is He asking the Father to pass this cup? Was He speaking as a man or as God?

"If it be possible" that is, if the world could be redeemed, if it were consistent with justice that people could  be saved without this extremity of sorrow, then let it be done. There is no doubt that if it were  possible it would have been done; and the fact that these sufferings were "not" removed, and that the Savior went forward and bore them without mitigation, shows that it was NOT consistent with the justice of God and with the welfare of the universe that people should be saved without the awful sufferings of "such an atonement."

In the old Testament, the cup is often the symbol of Divine wrath against sin  (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17,22).Therefore it was not the coming physical suffering that caused the Lord Jesus Christ to pray this way (2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13), but the fact that He who was without sin had to become sin in order to save us from the wages of sin which is death. The Lord Jesus Christ would bear the sins of many (Heb 9:28) and the fullness of Divine wrath would fall on Him. (Isa 53:10,11: 2 Cor 5:21) This was the price of the sin He bore and which  He had paid in full.

"Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" The Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity, voluntarily surrendered His will to the will of the Father precisely in all things.This does not mean that there was a conflict between the Divine will and His desires but simply means He is submitting His will to the Father's. When He speaks of His will, He expresses also what He desires that all "human nature," surrender to the will of the Father.
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