Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Drinking the Cup of Wrath

This morning with our Fellas @ 5 group, I focused our attention on Matthew 26. In this text, we see Jesus in Gethsemane and we read His request, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." The question I asked the Fellas was "what cup?" What's Jesus talking about. Shouldn't He say, "Let this cross pass from me?" Or maybe "Let this scourging pass from me." Jesus' request shows us exactly what was on His mind - exactly what His concern was - and it was not a whip or nails. His concern was the wrath of God. The "cup of God's wrath" contains "fire and sulfur and a scorching wind" (Ps. 11:6). The "cup of His wrath" is also called the "cup of staggering" (Is. 51:17). Again, nails, mocking, and the cross are not His greatest concern - experiencing the full brunt of Divine Judgment, the full force of wrath, the searing silence of abandonment and alienation, and the utter devastation of forsakenness are clearly on His mind. Yet why would a sinless Son in whom the Father is well pleased ever experience "damnation" from the Father? My sin. Jesus did not experience the "cup of wrath" because of His sin but because of mine. And as unfathomable as it is, God the Father punishes God the Son because of my disobedience (2 Cor. 5:21). As Isaiah says, the cup will be drunk "to the dregs," which means the reason Christ declares "it is finished" is because He had drunk the full contents of the cup of wrath. And because Christ drank the cup of wrath - I get to drink from another cup - the cup of salvation. As David says "you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." Christ drank the cup I should have tasted yet because of His sacrifice and substitutionary atonement I get to drink from a cup I never deserved to even see. Friends, no matter what today holds, Christ has already experienced the worst thing possible. You've never had a day like Christ had on "Good Friday" and thanks to His righteousness you will not have an eternity of wrath. Flee to Christ friends. Take shelter in Him. There is no other name given unto men for salvation. Whatever obedience you are called to today, the One who has been most obedient lives in you. Yes Paul, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank you Father for not letting the cup pass from Jesus for I would have no other hope in the world for reconciliation with you. Thank you for your silence in the Garden. I will never fully know how much my salvation cost you and the Son.