The Cup (1776)
In Luke 22, Jesus told His disciples about His coming crucifixion at the Last Supper. When He later came to the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed three times: Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.
This wasn’t a literal cup; rather, a symbolic cup, meaning to experience something fully. Was He afraid of His coming crucifixion? Did the cup symbolize the physical pain He would soon feel? What was it that caused Jesus to dread the drinking of that cup? It was sin; every sin through all the ages polluted the cup, as well as the punishment of that sin. It was not the physical pain He would feel that caused Him to plead for another way. No; it was the vileness and filth of sin He would soon take on that caused Him agony. And the silence from heaven said, there is no other way.
God will never overlook sin, for He is holy. By His holiness, He has sworn that sin will be punished. So, when Jesus took on our sins, God the Father, in holy justice, treated Jesus as if He were a sinner, and punished Him as such. Jesus knew this, yet He consumed the contents of the cup anyway. He chose it.
In His holy humanity, Jesus shrank back. But in His divine love, He said, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus wrestled between His holy humanity and His divine love. His love won. Adrian Rogers says, “The cross is God’s way to punish sin and forgive the sinner at the same time.”
There is one more cup, one that we drink. Just before Jesus went into Gethsemane, Jesus was at last supper with his disciples. He told them: this is the New Testament in my blood. Drink it.
This is the cup of communion, and it is ours to drink.
He drank the cup of sin that we might have the cup of redemption.
Apply it to your life
Have you accepted the cup of communion? Have you wrestled with submitting your will to the Father? Can you truly say, “Not my will, but Yours be done?” Adrian Rogers says, “As I look at dark Gethsemane, there are two things it tells me. Number one, I want to hate sin. Number two, I want to love Jesus Christ.”