And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-44 ESV)
Jesus had spent the evening with the twelve in what men would eventually label “The Last Supper”. He sat at the table of eleven faithful and one devil, serving them all. A discussion eventually broke out among them regarding who “was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22:24). Like all fallen men, the disciples brought talk of the kingdom, thrones, and judgement back to themselves as centerpiece. Undoubtedly they each imagined themselves seated high upon a throne, regaled in fine garments, judging the twelve tribes of Israel from a place of authority. But the scene that would play out late into that dark night would change the course of the Christian man’s thinking forever.
The authority in the kingdom is not man’s, nor was it ever intended to be. In fact, King Jesus lived in a way that undeniably displayed this. While he walked the earth as a man without equal, he remained a servant (Mark 10:45). God’s plan for the world has never been, nor will ever be about the authority of men. Jesus lived this truth out even to the end as he submitted his authority, praying “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” It is obvious here the anguish and agony of this intimate moment, as Jesus is faced with this looming cup he must drink from; that cup was the wrath of God. “Nevertheless”, he said, and drank deeply from the cup of wrath, becoming for us “sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Is your life lived to exalt the God’s authority, or promote your own? Answer this question by letting the Spirit lead today.