"My Father, if it is possible ... Yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39)
Here Jesus, troubled and full of sorrow; having left the group of his students and walked to a place called Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36), put his face on the ground in the presence of Peter, James and John to say this prayer.

Does this prove that Jesus is God?

Actually, it proves that Jesus isn't God. The fact that Jesus fell to his face on the ground illustrates Jesus' devotion to the Supreme Being.

Jesus saw himself as God's humble servant, and this posture - of putting his face to the ground - was (and still is) a customary position for a devoted loving servant of God.

This contradicts teachings that proclaim that Jesus is God. Would God pray to Himself? Would God fall to his face in humble prayer to Himself? It is simply ludicrous that people would read these verses and still believe that Jesus could possibly be God.

At any rate, the previous verse explains that Jesus was troubled, and this was expressed in Jesus' prayer. Jesus was troubled because he knew he was going to be arrested shortly and tried and persecuted at the hands of the Romans. So Jesus was struggling with the fact that he could, at that moment, easily slip away and avoid the arrest altogether.

What did Jesus' prayer mean?

Jesus begins by asking God, "if it is possible." The key Greek words used here are:

"If" comes from εἰ (ei) - but can also mean "whether" according to the lexicon.

"Possible" is being translated from δυνατός (dynatos) - means "able, powerful, mighty, strong" according to the lexicon, as well as "to be able (to do something)".

The word "cup" is being translated from the Greek word ποτήριον (potērion) as indeed it can refer to "a cup," or "a drinking vessel" according to the lexicon. However, in this case, it is being used metaphorically, as Jesus is hardly speaking of cups here.

The metaphorical meaning of ποτήριον according to Thayer's lexicon is: "one's lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse, divine appointments, whether favorable or unfavorable, are likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity."

In other words, the word ποτήριον indicates a person's "lot" or "fate."

Here "be taken" is derived from παρέρχομαι (parerchomai), positioned on both sides of is being translated to "be taken" here. While it can mean "to go past" or "pass by" according to the lexicon, again we must apply its metaphorical meaning here, and according to the lexicon, this is: "to pass away" or "perish." Understanding this, what is being communicated can be better captured with "to remove."

Then "from" is translated from ἀπό (apo) here. This is appropriate, as its literal meaning is "to be separated from."

Then ἐγώ (egō) refers appropriately to the personal pronoun, "me."

As we put this together, Jesus is asking in the first part of his prayer that a particular "lot" or "fate" be "removed" or "taken from" him.

What is he asking to be removed? His fate. And what is his fate? He just disclosed his fate to his disciples, as he indicated that he would be arrested and persecuted, while his disciples would abandon him.

This indicates that the fate Jesus is asking God to remove is his coming persecution at the hands of the Romans. He is asking God if it is possible that this does not take place.

Jesus is asking this, again, because he is "troubled." He told Peter, James and John before this prayer: "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." (Matthew 26:38)

Did Jesus accommodate God?

It is customary, even today, for a person to pray to God when troubled about something. Jesus was obviously troubled about his forthcoming persecution, and wondering if God could change his fate. Especially when he could have, at that very moment, run off and avoid his coming arrest altogether.

The key to the prayer is that even with his asking God this, he also accommodates God by pledging that he will do what pleases God:

The Greek πλήν (plēn) is translated to "yet," but means "moreover, besides, but, nevertheless" according to the lexicon. While "yet" is not necessarily wrong, it does not communicate the point. "Moreover, besides, but, nevertheless" does not mean "yet."

"Moreover" indicates "more importantly," or even "notwithstanding" - as the word has been translated elsewhere in the New Testament. The point is that Jesus is not saying "yet" here, he is saying the next thing he says in his prayer is "more important". He is saying "more importantly..."

The next part of Jesus' statement is better broken down into two parts. The Greek phrase, οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω indicates - and is appropriately translated to - "not as I will."  However, the phrase is deeper than even this. The word "will" translates from θέλω (thelō), which means "to intend," "to be resolved," "determined," "to purpose," "to desire" or "to wish" according to Thayer's lexicon.

So the translation could just as well said, "not what I want" or "not according to my wishes".

The last part of the phrase, ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ, indicates - and is appropriately translated to - "but as You will." Because the Greek phrase is possessive and does not contain the word θέλω (thelō) as the first phrase did, it actually means something like "but Yours." In other words, "not my wishes, but Yours."

But since this could be misunderstood, the translators have appropriately restated "will" here, as Jesus is saying "Not my will, but Your will." This could be rephrased as, "not what I want, but what You want."

So as we examine the Greek, the more appropriate understanding of Jesus' prayer would be something like:
"My Father, if it is possible, please remove my coming fate. More importantly, may I not do what I want, but what You want."

What does Jesus' second prayer mean?

This translation and interpretation of Jesus' prayer and his struggle with his coming fate is confirmed by his second prayer, where Jesus resigns himself to his fate. The current NIV translation is:
"My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done." (Matthew 26:42)
However, in this second prayer, there is no reason for the word "cup" to be included. The first prayer's Greek word ποτήριον (potērion), translated to "cup" but really referring to "lot" or "fate," isn't in the second prayer at all. 

Rather, the second prayer uses the Greek word αὐτός (autos), which means "this" is assumed to be referring to "cup", only because in this second prayer Jesus uses the word πίνω (pinō), which can mean "to drink" according to the lexicon. However, when πίνω is used in the figurative sense, it means, according to the lexicon: "to receive..."

Besides, a person does not drink a cup. A person drinks from a cup.

This means that Jesus' second prayer also is not talking about a cup at all. Jesus has resigned to receive his fate rather than asking God to remove his fate as he does in the first prayer.

Then Jesus says virtually the same thing in the second part of the second prayer as the second part of the first prayer, but conclusively. The Greek phrase is γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, which means "Your will be done." This utilizes the Greek word θέλημα (thelēma) which also indicates "will" but also means "desires" or "wishes."

Thus the second prayer goes something like this:
“O my Lord, if this cup may not be taken from me unless I drink from it, may You be pleased."

Did Jesus want to please God?

The bottom line is that Jesus is wanting to do what pleases the Supreme Being. And Jesus certainly was struggling with his fate (metaphorically stated as a cup) but understood through his prayers that this is what God wanted him to do.

Why? Why did the Supreme Being allow Jesus to be persecuted, beaten and gruesomely murdered? Was it all God's big plan to redeem our sins with Jesus' life - like some sacrificial lamb - as some sectarians propose?

This is a ridiculous proposition. God does not need to sacrifice anyone on the cross in order to redeem, or purify us of our sins. God is the Supreme Controller. He can purify or cleanse sins simply by willing it. He does not need to have any kind of physical mechanism - someone suffering - to redeem sins.

Jesus himself confirms this, as he taught his students to pray:
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debt, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:9-13)
The part of the prayer: "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors," translates the Greek word ὀφείλημα (opheilēma) to "debts," which can also mean "sins" according to the lexicon. Thus some translations of the Lord's prayer, say:
"Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us."
Jesus confirms this when he says afterward:
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)
Now if the only way to be forgiven our sins was to have Jesus die on the cross, why does Jesus tell his students to ask God for forgiveness? Why didn't Jesus simply tell his students: "Just wait until they crucify me, and then just accept that my death wipes away your sins"? No, he did not say that, because it isn't true. God can forgive our sins directly. We simply need to ask Him, and we have to be willing to forgive others.

This means that this whole routine revolving around Easter is simply a farce. All the empty ceremonies, such as "Good Friday" and "Easter" are simply offensive celebrations.

What is "Good" about the day that Jesus was beaten and murdered by unbelievers who felt threatened by Jesus' teachings? Some sectarian teachers want to call this day "good" because they are rejoicing about how their sins are now forgiven. In other words, it's all about getting cleansed. This is the ultimate self-centered illusion.

Could this be true? That once Jesus died, we no longer have to be responsible for our actions? We can simply wipe our responsibilities off on Jesus? Is Jesus our doormat that we simply wipe our sins off on? This is an offensive position that only a self-centered person would take.

And what about "Easter"? What about all the Easter egg hunts and the chocolate bunnies? What does this materialism have to do with Jesus, who taught that we should not seek after material things, but seek love of God? What does Easter have to do with God at all? Nothing.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear." (Luke 12:22)

Why did God allow Jesus to be crucified?

This question has been asked by many for centuries.

Jesus' prayer here illustrates that Jesus allowed himself to be persecuted. Jesus knew he was going to be arrested. He could have escaped before his arrest. There is also evidence that he actually instructed Judas to tell the Temple high priest where Jesus would be in order to arrest him.

Thus we can see that Jesus played a role in his arrest. He could have at least avoided it and ran off into the desert. He could have also chosen to diplomatically answer the High Priest's questions, which would have likely gotten Jesus dismissed.

But Jesus didn't choose to do this. Jesus chose to stand up for God and his teachings.

Jesus, being God's loving messenger, was not going to run away under the threat of arrest. He was going to complete his mission of distributing his teachings of love for God. And he was going to stand behind his teachings because these were from God. And Jesus loved God.

Therefore, it was Jesus who chose to serve God by standing up for His teachings. God gave Jesus the freedom to accept this fate - just as God gave the Temple high priest the freedom to arrest Jesus and set him up to be condemned to death.

Yes, the Supreme Being is giving all of us certain freedoms while we are here. We have the freedom to reject God, or the freedom to accept God. This is our choice. God also gave us the freedom to condemn His messengers - and even harm them.

To do otherwise would be to take away our freedom - which is required in order to truly come to love God. We cannot freely love someone who has taken away our freedom not to love him.

Today we see all kinds of people choose to make sacrifices. Some give their lives for their country. Some give their lives to protest a government. Why? Because they believe in their cause, and they want to show others just how important that cause is.

This is no different from Jesus, but Jesus' cause was love for God. He wanted others to understand just how important it is that we come to know and love the Supreme Being. It was important enough for him to make the ultimate sacrifice for. And it is understanding this message from Jesus that can save us:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)