Near the end of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke we come across the divine drama as it is unfolding. In Matthew we read: Matt 26:39
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.”
In Mark we find a similar account: Mark 14:36
36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
In Luke we again find Jesus praying and saying this: Luke 22:41-43
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
All three mention this similar prayer. While John does not record the prayer he does give us an account of Jesus addressing Peter after he cut off the High Priest’s servant’s ear with his sword. John 18:11
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
What is the cup that Jesus struggled with drinking? Why was it so reprehensible to Him? The cup that Jesus drank was the cup of God’s wrath that sinful humanity deserves. Jesus knew that by drinking it he would know for the first time in His existence not just the rejection of His Father, but also God’s fierce wrath.
Why would Jesus have to experience the rejection of God the father? Because, he would take upon himself all the sin of humanity, not just the past and present sins, but also the future sins as well.
The prophet Isaiah puts it so beautifully Isa 53:4-6
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
Jesus knew the prophecy in Isaiah and knew what it would mean to have the sins of all humanity laid upon Him. Jesus understood that once He said yes to the divine will He would become sin and in order to make sinners Righteous.
2 Cor 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.