If Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel could withstand death, never fearing, how can some who claim to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ever consider the position they take UNLESS these were greater in faithfulness, loyalty, and more dedicated to duty than was He?? How could Christ explain to these brethren His fear and disdain for the plan from before eternity if He did actually get to Calvary and beg not to die?? Could we follow the Captain of the armed forces of Almighty God into battle with dedication thinking He just before the greatest contest of the war fell on His knees and pleaded with the Ancient of Days not to let Him die as some teach?? Did Jesus pray “not My will, but Thine be done” or “change Your will and let Mine be done”??
Sometimes punctuation alters understanding. If the punctuation is wrongly put, the meaning of the communication is altered. In the 60’s there was a group of “beatniks” who liked to think themselves special and not work. They would quote a verse of scripture and alter the meaning of the communication by altering the punctuation. They would cite the verse Paul by inspiration wrote to the church of Christ at Ephesus: “let him that stole, steal no more no more: but rather let him labor working with his hands the things which is good.” Ephesians 4:28 They would cite it this way: “let him that stole, steal; no more let him labor working with his hands the things which is good.” All they had to do was change the place the punctuation was put in the sentence and it would alter the whole thought. The same is done with the plea of Christ for His disciples. Some take it to be a plea of Christ for Himself and they cite it “if it be Thy will, let this cup, pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39 Again, a comma placed in the wrong place can change thought, intent, and the motive of the heart. When Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, He had already publicly, privately, and adamantly declared He was to die to complete the “mystery”!! He had told the Jews publicly that “if I be not lifted not up, I cannot draw all men unto me.” John 12:32 Again, He railed on Peter with great vehemence when Peter even questioned Christ dieing. “Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offense unto Me: for you do not desire the things that be of God (that Christ desires), but those that be of men. If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:23-24 “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it: and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:24-28 Isaac’s’ death as a sacrifice was without Isaac’s’ desire, Christ death was not only with His will, but His intent!! “Father, glorify Thou Me.” God, the Father would not have accepted Christ sacrifice if Christ had not willingly offered Himself!! “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” John 3:12 “Destroy this temple (naos- the habitation place of God) and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things.” John 8:28
The words of the text of scripture is inspired, but the punctuation is not. Often the ignorance of the punctuation has been something we have mused about, but when the punctuation changes the announcement, intent, and purposes of God, we have to say something about it. When Christ p0rayed: “Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Matthew 26:39, listen to what He is saying in the context of the prayer. When Jesus got ready to go home would a small thing like dieing, stop Him?? If returning back to the glory that He had with the Father before He came to this Earth, would He let a little thing like death, stop that?? If dieing on the cross of Calvary would allow Him to re-possess ALL those who had followed Him in the Old Testaments, would a little thing like dieing stop Him? If, IF, dieing on Calvary’s tree would allow Christ to be the emancipator of all who ever sinned and come short of the glory of God who would obey Him, would He let a little thing like death, stop Him??