Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Cup

Are you holding a sword in rebellion or are you submitting to the cup?

John 18:11-12 But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given Me?" 12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied Him up.

Matthew 26:39-42 He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine." 40 Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with Me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!" 42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, Your will be done."

The early hours of Jesus last morning in the garden were incredibly stressful for everybody involved. Jesus suffering was by far the greatest, he had agonized over what was going to come when Judas came to the garden to give the guards the hypocritical signal (The Kiss) to point out which man was to be arrested.

No doubt the disciples had a lot going on in their heads, from the Lord's Supper just a few hours ago up to this time, their world was being turned upside down and they didn't have any control. As always Peter attempted to have some control, so he took the sword out that he had been carrying and tried to fight back to keep all of this from happening.

While Peter was holding the sword our Savior was reaching out to take a cup, while Peter was rebelling against God's plans Jesus was submitting to the plan. Peter wanted to protect Jesus and keep him from the cup of God's wrath but Jesus was taking the cup for our own protection.

The wrath of God, and punishment due for my sin is in that cup, it is a cup that I could never drink from and live, the only man that could do that for me was Jesus. Earlier Jesus asked the Father to take the cup away but now he is willing to take it, earlier he had agonized with the thought of the cup that he was to drink from, but now he Jesus was willing to take the cup of God's wrath. (Matthew 26:36-42)

Jesus attitude toward being made sin is much different that our attitude toward our sinful state. He was deeply pained by the effect of sin whereas we tend to enjoy our sin or at least we don't mind it very much.
Mark 10:37-40 They replied, "When You sit on Your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to You, one on Your right and the other on Your left." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?"

39 "Oh yes," they replied, "we are able!" Then Jesus told them, "You will indeed drink from My bitter cup and be baptized with My baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on My right or My left. God has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen."
We will all have to take a cup and suffer in this world. Jesus was able to accept the cup as an example to us in how to view our difficult yet much lighter afflictions. I can choose to oppose the Father's will as Peter did or I can trust his love and his plans and accept his will even when it looks too unpleasant.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Thank you Lord for accepting the cup that the Father planned for you to take in my place. You have taught me that I don't need to fear the cup that the Father has prepared for me. I know that he will not allow me to be overcome by the pain, suffering and heartbreak that I will experience in this world.