April 03, 2009

Let This Cup Pass

Luke 22:39-46

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Luke 22:42


It was the custom in Israel that at mealtime the father filled every family member’s cup. The cup became associated with one’s lot, one’s portion in life. The cup of life is filled not only with joys and blessings but also with pain and grief (see Psalm 16:5).

Jesus looked into the cup his Father had given him, and he was afraid to drink it. He wanted out. But not without his Father’s permission.

Sin does not ask for permission. That’s what makes it sin (disobedience, rebellion).

Jesus, however, was without sin. What was there in this cup that made Jesus so afraid to drink it?

Jesus saw a cup filled with the world’s brokenness. A cup full of wickedness, sickness, sadness, selfishness, hate, poverty, oppression, pride, pain, and death. All the agony of all the ages was in that cup.

There was also his Father’s hurt and anger at all the human sin that had ruined and wrecked his good creation and everything in it—it was all in that cup.

No wonder Jesus was afraid to drink it!

Was there no other way to rid the world and human life of all the poison and pain in that cup?

Jesus’ Father said no. It was his will that his Son would drink it.

And Jesus did. For us.

Thank you, Jesus, for drinking this horrible cup so fouled by all our sins. Thank you for giving us the cup of salvation filled with your blood instead. We praise you forever. Amen.

About the author — Gordon Pols

Rev. Gordon Pols and his wife, Ann, have two married children and two grandchildren. After serving four congregations in Western and Central Canada, Rev. Pols retired from active ministry in 2007. He is currently doing parttime pastoral work with West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta. He also works parttime for Crossroad Bible Institute, promoting a Bible study correspondence course for prison inmates.

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