But I have a baptism to be baptized with
Not water baptism, for he had been baptized with that already; nor the baptism of the Spirit, which he had also received without measure; though the Ethiopic version reads it actively, "with which I shall baptize", referring doubtless to that; but the baptism of his sufferings is meant, which are compared to a baptism, because of the largeness and abundance of them; he was as it were immersed, or plunged into them; and which almost all interpreters observe on the text, and by which they confess the true import and primary signification of the word used; as in baptism, performed by immersion, the person is plunged into water, is covered with it, and continues awhile under it, and then is raised out of it, and which being once done, is done no more; so the sufferings of Christ were so many and large, that he was as it were covered with them, and he continued under them for a time, and under the power of death and the grave, when being raised from thence, he dies no more, death hath no more dominion over him. This baptism he "had", there was a necessity of his being baptized with it, on his Father's account; it was his will, his decree, and the command he enjoined him as Mediator; it was the portion he allotted him, and the cup he gave unto him: and on his own part, he obliged himself unto it, in the counsel and covenant of peace; for this purpose he came into this world, and had substituted himself in the room and stead of his people; and it was necessary on their part, for their sins could not be atoned for without sufferings, nor without the sufferings of Christ; moreover, the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament concerning them, made them necessary:
and how am I straitened until it be accomplished:
these words express both the trouble and distress Christ was in, at the apprehension of his sufferings as man; which were like to the distress of persons, closely besieged by an enemy; or rather of a woman, whose time of travail draws nigh, when she dreads it, and yet longs to have it over: and likewise they signify, his restless desire to have them accomplished; not that he desired that Judas should betray him, or the Jews crucify him, as these were sins of theirs; nor merely his sufferings as such; but that thereby the justice of God might be satisfied, the law might be fulfilled, and the salvation of his people be obtained: and this eager desire of his, he had shown in various instances, and did show afterwards; as in his ready compliance with his Father's proposal in eternity; in his frequent appearances in human form before his incarnation; in sending one message after another, to give notice of his coming; in his willingness to be about his Father's business, as soon as possible; in rebuking Peter, when he would have dissuaded him from all thoughts of suffering: in going to Jerusalem on his own accord, in order to suffer there; in his earnest wish to eat the last passover with his disciples; in the joy that possessed him, when Judas was gone out, in order to betray him; in stopping in the midst of his sermon, lest he should overrun, or outslip the time of meeting him in the garden, ( John 14:30 John 14:31 ) in his going thither, and willingly surrendering himself up into the hands of his enemies; and in cheerfully laying down his life: all which arose from the entire love he had for the persons he died for; and because it was his Father's will, and his glory was concerned herein, and his own glory also was advanced thereby; moreover, his death was the life of others, and the work required haste.