"Remove this cup from me." Mark 14:36
This was a real request. Jesus doesn't play-act. "There was no deceit in his mouth" (Isa. 53:9). Was this request an exception? Perish the thought! What makes him exceptional is that there were no exceptions to this stunning rule.
Sometimes Jesus spoke above the truth, but never against it. "Destroy this temple" mislead his opponents, but the deception was their own, not his. He is the true temple. What we have here is not that. In the garden, he spoke to the Father in dead earnest. Jesus really desired to escape this cup.
What kind of cup could possibly press blood from those holy pores and such a request from those unerring lips? The beatings and whips and spikes were but the froth of that cup (some of his disciples have endured those same sufferings with great joy). His cup was different; it wasn't less, but more. Its real content was the concentrated wrath of God against sin, the sin he was about to bear.
Jesus made a real request because the cup was real. And because he went ahead and drained it anyway, we who trust him are really forgiven. The fiery wrath we deserve was really spent on Christ in our place. Jesus drank the cup of real wrath to put cups of real mercy in our hands forever!