He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39
We have so much to learn from this short prayer. It seems Jesus was humble and in anguish over the thought of the forthcoming events. He stated his desire—let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Then he affirmed that his Father’s will was what mattered. God the Father’s will was the priority. And ultimately, Jesus submitted and followed. I seem too often to take the easier, softer way. Jesus took the hard road because he knew it was the Father’s will.
Think of the title to an automobile. It’s a piece of paper that looks very official. It contains the specifics of the make, model, and mileage at time of transfer as well as if there are any loans on the car and, most importantly, who owns the car. In most cases, when the title is signed, the document becomes a live document, meaning whoever possesses the title actually owns the car. The holder of the signed title can take possession of the car, resell the car, drive the car, scrap the car, or do anything else they want. Until the title is signed, the car is still owned by the person named on the title. Once signed, the title may then be turned over to a new owner.
We all have the title to our lives. We own our lives, or at least we mostly act as though we do. We make decisions every day that reflect our ownership—eat what we decide to eat, go where we decide to go, and do what we decide to do. By agreeing to deny ourselves, Jesus is urging us to sign the title of our lives and hand it over to him. He’ll decide what he’ll have us do, and we’ll follow because we no longer have ownership of our lives.