Day 30

The Cup

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan

Isaiah 51:17, Luke 22:39-46

BY Guest Writer

Text: Isaiah 51:17, Luke 22:39-46

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

It’s hard for us to wrap our believing hearts around Jesus asking to be spared the Cross – the very purpose of His incarnation. 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 my will, but yours be done.”

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

“Yet not my will, but yours be done.”

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

“Yet not my will, but yours be done.”

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.

Sarah Matheny is an ever-growing, ever-changing gal, laughing and living in the Pacific Northwest. One-time attorney, food blogger, and author, all-the-time wife and mom to three wild-eyed, spunky girly girls, she’s passionate about her family, her friends and growing in her walk with Christ as He dishes up an always unpredictable, but totally delicious life.