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Answering The Atheist
June 3, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 22

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Did Jesus ask God to save him from crucifixion? Some verses indicate that he sort of did (Matthew 26:36, 42; Mark 14:45-46; Luke 22:41-42), but John 12:27 says that He did not. Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Am I to understand that the questioner has never changed his mind, has never second guessed a decision, has never wished for something different than what he knew would take place?

Four days before the Passover, Jesus, speaking with His disciples said, "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour." (John 12:27). In this text, we see the turmoil of Jesus' soul. Were He to follow His own desire, He would not go to the cross, but ask the Father to save Him. And yet, immediately He acknowledged, "...for this purpose I came to this hour", knowing that it was God's will.

The other texts listed all refer to the same instance, on the night of the Passover, after Jesus had shared the feast with His disciples, just prior to being taken into custody by the officers of the chief priests. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed. His prayer is not so different from what He had spoken a few days earlier, "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). And again, "O My Father, if tis cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." (v 42). Just as in John 12, we see the contrast of Jesus' will and the Father's will, and once again, Jesus submitting Himself to the Father's will.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible