Which Cup? Mark 14:32-36

Until now, Jesus seemed to have faced His impending death with unwavering resolve, calm control and fearless courage. In Gethsemane, He revealed His deepest feelings.

Jesus left the upper room and took his disciples to "Gethsemane", an olive orchard on the slopes of Mt Olivet. Jesus left most of the disciples there and took Peter, James, and John with Him to another part of the orchard. He then revealed his feelings of distress and grief and told the three disciples to keep watch with Him – looking out for signs of trouble.

He went a little further, away from the three, prostrated Himself and prayed. As He contemplated His future - bearing God's wrath for the sins of the world and experiencing separation from His Father – Jesus wished that He would be spared from the cup. Why is the cup such a dreaded thing? The “cup” is the cup of God’s wrath, poured out on sinners (Psalm 75:6-10).

Jesus affirmed that all things are possible for the Father; He then asked if it was possible to let this cup pass from Him. What was Jesus asking? I don’t think He was asking the Father to put aside the plan of salvation. Rather Jesus was exploring if there was any other way to achieve the salvation of man. Of course, there isn’t for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).

Jesus was praying fervently. He prayed not once but three times. Nevertheless, He submitted to the Father’s will. Jesus had a choice and He chose to drink of the “cup”. Why? He drank so that we might be spared from drinking of the same “cup”.

  1. When you partake of the cup in the Lord’s Supper, be grateful that it is not the cup of God’s wrath but the cup of the new covenant in Christ’s blood.

  2. Jesus’ prayer is an excellent model for us. Do not be afraid to tell God your preferences and desires as Jesus did. Remember what James 4:2 says, “You want something but don't get it … because you do not ask God.” However, like Jesus too, we should also submit our preference to the will of God, whatever that may be.
Spiritual Exercise: Jesus prayed, "Yet not what I will, but what you will." What does your commitment to God cost you? Are you willing to pay the price to do His will?

Prayer: Tell God what is on your heart ... lift it up to Him in prayer. Write down your prayer in your journal.

Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © January 2010 by Alan S.L. Wong

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