Updated: Apr 8
And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Remove this cup from me.
Yet not what I will, but what You will."
- Mark 14: 36
Looking up at the rose window in the front of my church, and reflecting on these words of Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, caused me to pause and consider just what was in THIS CUP.
If you take the time to read through Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, or John 18-19, you will discover in this cup a cocktail of evil, hellish horror, mixed with the wrath of a holy and just God. These were the events that Jesus saw ahead of Him.
And because Jesus was true God, He saw each ingredient that would be part of the day ahead. In anguish He prays to His Father to remove it - as true Man He knew He would feel and experience deeply every one of these - grief, anguish, abandonment, betrayal, arrest, insult, denial, hate, torment, ridicule, false accusation, torture, flogging, humiliation, unimaginable pain, and death. (Perhaps you can add to this list?)
And have you ever been accused of or punished for something you didn't do? Consider Jesus' innocence, and His perfect obedience - and how much more the hurt to take the blame for ALL our sins.
Have you ever complained about a really bad day or felt sorry for yourself because you suffered disappointment or ridicule or rejection or pain? At the time of Jesus, the day began at sundown and so this "day" for Jesus began in the garden and continued through Good Friday evening. Even my worst bad day could never compare to this day - this cup - that Jesus was facing.
Yet, out of love for His Father and for us, Jesus not only shares His lament with His Father but adds "yet not what I will but what You will." He is willing to drink this cup and go forward into and suffer through this horrible day to save you and me. How utterly amazing is that?!
So then ... can I suffer through a bad day and still give thanks for it, take an insult and still love that person, lose my job and not lose hope, see evil and death in the world and still have faith in God and His goodness? With gratitude to God for His loving plan of salvation, at great cost to Himself and His Son Jesus, and with Holy Spirit power through faith in me - yes, I can.
Dear Jesus, I can't come close to imagining what you went through for me on this day.
I'm so sorry for the times in my life that added to Your cup - times when my denial, ridicule, betrayal, or faithlessness have added to your anguish, grief, and pain.
Thank You for going forward to follow Your Father's will, loving me enough to suffer so and die for me. What an amazing, wonderful, magnificent love!
In this, Your love, may I joyfully follow You ... always, no matter what the day may hold.