the cup

from the the cup reading plan

Matthew 26:36-46, Philippians 2:8

BY Sarah Matheny

Text: Matthew 26:36-46, Philippians 2:8

While the image of Jesus hanging on the cross is truly agonizing, it is somehow the account of the Garden of Gethsemane that grieves me deepest. It is here, with Jesus on His hands and knees, weeping and pleading with God, that I feel the fullness of His humanity and the depth of His sacrifice. It is in this garden that I feel the weight of His suffering at my hands.

He made His way into the garden, away from the disciples, and He prayed, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39; NIV)

It’s hard for us to wrap our believing hearts around Jesus asking to be spared the Cross–the very purpose of His existence. But He puts an asterisk on His very human request by declaring His obedience at any cost.

Throughout the Old Testament, “the cup” is used as a metaphor for God’s judgment and His wrath, as in Isaiah 51:17: “You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops.” (NIV) So when Jesus prays about avoiding the cup, He’s fully aware of what He is about to do by going to the cross: He is drinking the cup of God’s wrath. Yes, He’s taking on the physical agony of the cross, but He is also taking on the spiritual agony of separation from His loving father. And that separation is the pain that is breaking Him down in the garden.

But without missing a beat, He prays on.

“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

And this is where I am convicted for all the times I complain about my own “suffering” in this life.

“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

And this is where I am made keenly aware of my foolish attempts to build my own plans for my life.

“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

And this is where I stop rushing through the Lenten season to get to the glorious celebration on Easter morning. The garden is where I pause to hear His sobs and His prayers. It’s where I see that cup we poured so violently spilling over. And it’s where I thank Him for His willingness to drink every last drop of it. For me.

Post Comments (50)

50 thoughts on "the cup"

  1. ed sheeran photograph says:

    my brother has a gambling problem and he just burned a thousand bucks in one night-

  2. MamaRose says:

    I am a day late in reading about the my Lord in the garden; it is a story that hits my heart over and over in and out of the Easter season. I have read most of the comments and they remind me and encourage me to be even more fervent in my walk with God.
    Somewhere a long my journey, I remember saying to myself "Let thy will be done." I said these words with trepidation and surrender. Trepidation because of what the commitment I was making to God. and surrender because I had no idea where God would take me or what I would be asked to do. As I have walked with Him, the fear that I felt whenever I said those words has diminished greatly. I have been carried through so much in my life. God's proof of His existence in my life is shown to me every day. Whenever I think of what Christ must have been feeling and thought while waiting to go through what He went through, I know that what I endure everyday is less than the size of a mustard seed. Because He suffered the separation from His father for me, I will never be separated from the Father.

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