Did our Lord have a will distinct from His Father?
Each Person of the Godhead has a will. This confirms that they are distinct persons. The Spirit divides “to every man severally as He will” (1 Corinthians 12:11). The Son, speaking to the Father in John 17:24, expresses His will, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” The Lord refers to “the will of My Father” in Matthew 7:21, among other passages.
In addition, the true humanity of the Lord Jesus necessitates a human spirit (Genesis 2:7) and therefore a will. The Lord’s will involved all that the human will involves, apart from the tendency or capacity to choose sin. He is holy (Luke 1:35).
While His will was distinct from the Father’s, these wills could not differ, since God is perfect in unity (Deuteronomy 6:4). In addition, since both the Father and the Son are perfect in holiness, wisdom, and love, what each wills must be the same.
What did the Lord mean, “Let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will?”
Before Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus said, “What shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name” (John 12:27,28). After Gethsemane He said, “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). There was no possibility of His turning from or being unwilling to go to Calvary. Gethsemane itself carries a weight of grief and a depth of wonder exceeding perhaps any other scene. This is holy ground! Together, Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts portray immense emotional suffering that expressed itself physically. His sorrow was to the point of death, to the limit of the human frame. His anguish was accompanied by godly reverence and dependence (Hebrews 5:7). Each statement of prayer includes the submission of His will to the Father’s. It could not have been otherwise.
Such was the enormity of Golgotha’s awaiting suffering that He would never have endured it unless this was His Father’s will. Each exploration of an alternative was fully submissive. Gethsemane’s question was, “Can divine Persons find any other way but Calvary to deal with sin?” Gethsemane’s answer? ” No.”