The culmination of Jesus’s purpose on earth was approaching, and Jesus began to put things in place so that his followers would know Jesus was still and always in charge. At Passover, he instituted a new remembrance, the bread and the wine, his body and his blood, “This is my body, which is given for you. This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:19-20). The disciples would, in the following days, watch these words play out. “But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table” (Luke 22:21). He knew! And you Peter, “Jesus said, “the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34). And it happened.
The disciples will remember that Jesus knew ahead of time all that would happen, but foreknowledge does not make the cross easier; rather, it is all-the-more terrifying. Taking some disciples with him to the Mount of Olives, Jesus “knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me’” (Luke 22:41-42). He did not want to drink the cup set before him.
Daddy had the flu. Five-year-old Sara wanted to help, and in she walked carrying a tray. On the tray, Sports Illustrated, some saltine crackers, and a cup of tea. “I didn’t know you could make tea,” smiled Dad.
“I put the tea leaves in the water like Mom does, and then I strained it into a cup,” explained Sara. “But I couldn’t find a strainer, so I used the flyswatter.” “You what?” “Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t ruin the new flyswatter. I used an old one.”
Do you drink the tea? “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). He drank the cup; the cup of wrath for the sins of the world. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” ~1John 3:16
Great and Wonderful God, my Savior, in humility You came to this earth and drank the cup of death that rightfully belonged to me. You took my sin and made it Your own and bore the penalty for my sake. You demonstrated a love that I can barely comprehend. You are my Creator, yet I rejected You – but You never rejected me. In fact, You became like me so You could seek me and save me.
God, I pray what Your Son prayed, not my will, but Yours be done. In all of my life, I will love You, displaying my love for You through my love for others, taking last place in order to serve those ahead of me.