And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch. And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:32-38
There was a definite crossroads of decision to be made here, a cloud of final temptation that overshadowed this moment. Jesus knew what was going to happen, and he knew the weakness of the flesh. If Jesus knew the cross was his mission, why did he ask the Father to remove the cup from him?
I think the answer is what Jesus told to Peter who was supposed to be keeping watch. “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus fully knew the weakness of the flesh and the weight of the moment, so he prayed. Not only did Jesus give Peter explicit instruction on how to not enter temptation, but he also modeled it. Jesus prayed to remain resolute, keeping from the temptation to stray off-mission. There are so many times where temptations creep and move us away from our mission. How many times did you know what you ought to do, but just couldn’t do it? Jesus both knew what he ought to do and did it, in full, perfect obedience. His secret is the affectionate and respectful relationship he had with the Father that he modeled through prayer.