Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Something as innocent and unintimidating as a cup would normally not symbolize something so great in meaning. So, what was in that mysterious cup that appeared before Christ’s face there in the darkness of Gethsemane? I read an article this last weekend that tried to explain what was in that cup that the Lord was speaking about. First, Imagine you are visiting the Center for Disease Control and you enter a large laboratory with hundreds of vials with every dangerous and foul disease known to man, which are poured into a large cup. How would you react if you were asked to drink it; what terror would fill your soul? The contents of Christ’s cup is all the sins of the world (past, present and future). A cup of every known disease in the world combined is nothing compared to the cup of sin that Jesus drank.
Matthew 26:42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
The second element in Jesus’ cup was God’s abandonment of Christ. By drinking that cup of sin, Christ became sin for us. Habakkuk 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” So, God turned His back on Christ, leaving Him abandoned and alone (a state that the Lord Jesus had never experienced). A state that every unrepentant sinner who rejects God’s free plan of salvation through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross in their place. John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
1 Peter 2:24-25 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Third, since God must punish sin, He poured on Christ the great fury of His wrath against our wicked sin. Psalm 78:49 “He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, by sending angels of destruction among them.” Can you imagine what Jesus went through for us?
Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
The most important thing about Christ’s cup that we need to realize is that it was not His cup at all – it was ours. The sin in that cup was ours. The abandonment should have been ours. But Christ drank the cup for us. Today the cup of Christ is one full of blessings – of love, forgiveness, peace and joy. From death to life … eternal life with the Lord. This is the cup that He now offers us.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
In Christ, Brian