Mark 14:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:35, NIV: "Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him."

Mark 14:35, ESV: "And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him."

Mark 14:35, KJV: "And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him."

Mark 14:35, NASB: "And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began praying that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by."

Mark 14:35, NLT: "He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by."

Mark 14:35, CSB: "He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him."

What does Mark 14:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"Hour" is from the Greek root word hora. Just as in English, this can mean one-twelfth of the period of daylight—i.e., sixty minutes—but in general means a fixed length of time. In this case, it is from the moment Judas betrays Jesus to the moment Jesus dies. As Judas arrives with his crowd, Jesus says, "…the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Mark 14:41).

We don't know what time Jesus takes the disciples to the garden of Gethsemane or when He is arrested. Some think the rooster crowing during Peter's denials (Mark 14:66–72) refers to the time period called the "cock-crowing" which is between midnight and 3:00 a.m., which would put Jesus with the Sanhedrin around this time. We know that the Jewish leaders take Him to Pilate in the morning (Matthew 27:1) and Jesus dies around three o'clock in the afternoon, or Luke 23:44's "ninth hour". So the trials, torture, and crucifixion last between twelve and fifteen hours. Immediately upon His death, He will return to heaven (Luke 23:43).

This short time period has led many to wonder why Jesus is so distraught. The suffering He goes through is horrible, but many people lingered on their crosses for days. And Jesus has much to look forward to, including heaven, a glorified body, and the right to offer salvation to the world.

Such a question minimizes the incredible pain Jesus endures before and on the cross. But much more, it minimizes the agony He feels bearing the weight of sin and watching His Father turn away from Him. The Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit—exists in perfect unity and love. Despite taking on humanity, Jesus still lives in this relationship. Sometime between the prayer on Gethsemane and His death, that bond is broken.

As humans, we are born without this bond. When we accept Christ's sacrifice for our sins and receive the Holy Spirit, we get a glimpse of the love God feels for us, but we are still unable to fully understand or take advantage of our relationship with Him. We must consider, however: if Jesus, who would bear this separation for half a day, is on the edge of death just anticipating it (Mark 14:34), why do we take our relationship with God so lightly? And what does this mean for the people who will be separated from God for eternity?

Jesus is not overreacting to His circumstances. He knows the glory His sacrifice on the cross will bring. But that knowledge doesn't make it easy.