“During his earthly life, he offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7 CSB).
“The all-knowing and all-powerful has no need of petition and no reason to cry. But Jesus fully shared our limitations.” (1)
It is often difficult to appreciate the deep emotional trauma that fell upon Jesus prior to His crucifixion. However, the following authors bring us face to face with the events that led Jesus to offer “…prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death” (NIV)…
“Christ faced death boldly but not eagerly. He met it willingly but not apathetically. Christ was ‘obedient to the point of death’ (Phil. 2:8). He approached it boldly and bravely, declaring, ‘I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again’ (John 10:18). He willingly submitted to the Father, saying, ‘not as I will, but as You will’ (Matt. 26:39).
Christ’s willingness and boldness notwithstanding, He nevertheless felt the full emotional and existential impact of His impending death. He did pray with ‘vehement cries and tears,’ but the writer adds, He ‘was heard because of His godly fear’ (Heb. 5:7). Jesus wished as a man that His cup (death) could pass from Him (Matt. 26:39), but He willed, as the Father willed, that it would take place for the salvation of the world. While His soul was ‘troubled’ about death, He never prayed, ‘Father, save me from this hour.’ He only asked, ‘shall I say’ this? His answer was no, ‘for this purpose I came to this hour. `Father glorify Your name`’ (John 12:27– 28). He never feared death as such, but banishment from the Father (Matt. 27:46). In fact, by His death Jesus overcame the power and fear of death, defeating the devil (Heb. 2:14).” (2)
“Hebrews 5:7-10 stresses the humanity of Jesus. So does Philippians 25-9. Jesus knew all along He was sent to die an atoning death on the cross. He predicted it many times. Yet all the black, horrid weight of sin upon His immaculate soul gripped Him with reality here in the garden as at no other time. If Jesus was human, and the scriptures emphasize He was, He grew in wisdom and understanding just like other human beings (cf, Lk. 2~40,52). The impact of the cross apparently was something that came upon Him in graduating intensity until it burst upon Him in the garden like a personal holocaust. This does not deny His perfection, it only glorifies it.” (3)
(1) Walters, John. “Hebrews” In Asbury Bible Commentary. 1139-1168. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, © 1992.
(2) Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : a popular handbook on Bible difficulties. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books. Page 150.
(3) Butler, Paul T, The Gospel Of Luke. Copyright © 1981 College Press Publishing Company. Page 535