The next time we see Jesus mentioning the cup His Father gave Him (see, Drinking the Cup-1) was after the Last Supper.
Bent with the overwhelming reality of the cross, He enters the garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26). The account of Jesus’ anguish is palpable as His capillaries burst from the strain that brought Him to the point of death. Luke speaks of His bloody sweat as He struggles under the weight of our sin. He experiences the sense of horror the sinner feels when being cut off from the Father of life. His constitution staggers at the possibility of eternally being separated from His Father’s adoring love.
The cry rings out through the swaying trees of the garden, “My Father,… if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me…” The moment of truth has arrived. The destiny of heaven’s inhabitants hangs in the balance. Unable to breathe, they wait for Christ’s conclusive decision.
The angelic host covers their eyes; others protect their ears, while many with their hands on top of their heads pace the floor. Will He carry out the ultimate sacrifice, or will He leave humanity to perish for their sins with no one created in God’s image remaining?
“Yet not my will, but as you will.”
The resounding words echo through the streets of the Holy City into the chamber halls of God’s holy temple. His life-giving words pass through the corridors of outer-space into the ears of silent onlookers. Each observer inhales and exhales a prayer of thanksgiving as Jesus rises with a resolve to meet the sound of boots on the rocky path leading to the garden.
The guards’ approach; Peter’s zeal overtakes his judgment as he draws his sword and swings, cutting off the high priest’s right ear.
John 18:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
At the moment Jesus gave His will over to His Father’s will, He saw, not the cross, but you. Losing you and me and every boy, girl, man, and women was not an option. He took the chance of never seeing His Father again and never returning to His home so we would be safe. In His humanity, He could not see beyond the grave for Himself, but He knew His mission.
He atoned for the sins of the world, became sin for us, and died instead of us. He was fulfilling His prediction at the Last Supper. At the cross, sin broke Jesus’ heart (body), and His blood poured out so we can be free from condemnation for our crimes.
The cup of agony and glory Jesus drank, calls for us to follow.