39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Mat 26:39 NAS)
If Jesus’ will was perfectly aligned with the Father’s will, then we should be able to put the words of Jesus into the Father’s mouth and not detect any difference of will. How likely is it that the Father would say “if it be possible, let this cup pass”, in reference to the sufferings of Christ? Not likely at all, if one assumes the Father is omni-everything and intended from all eternity for Jesus to suffer. In that case, why is Jesus asking for relief from a purpose that he cannot be relieved of?
Some apologists will say that the last few words of Jesus “yet not as I will, but as you will” show the conformity of his will to the Father, but there are two problems: First, if Jesus’ will was perfectly aligned with the Father’s will, then for this Jesus to say “not my will” is logically the same as saying “not the Father’s will”. The only time it makes sense to say “not my will but yours be done” is if your own will does indeed differ from the will of another person that you are subjecting yourself to. Second, even if this ending phrase showed Jesus conforming to the Father’s purpose, that does nothing to change the difference of will expressed by the prior words “if it be possible let this cup pass”. Why did Jesus utter that particular phrase, if he wasn’t seriously requesting relief from the inevitable?
Suppose you hear a fellow employee say to the boss: Boss, if it be possible, let me go home early, yet not as I will, but as you will.” Wouldn’t you detect that this employee, although respectfully allowing for the boss’s own will, was nevertheless seeking something that might have been outside the will of the boss?