As we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday I wanted to share some thoughts on a particular aspect of the Passion regarding the Cup of God’s Wrath.
In Luke 22:42 we see our Lord pray to His Father “if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” It was this “cup” that Jesus dreaded and was asking be removed. It begs the question, “why is “the cup” such a dreaded thing?”
The Cup of God’s Wrath
There are several primary passages related to “the cup” in Scripture. Psalm 75:6-10; Isa. 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15-20; and Revelation 14:9-11. In each of these passages, we find out that this cup is the cup of God’s wrath poured out on sinners. It is the fierce, righteous judgment on the nations for turning their backs on a Holy God. Jesus took this wrath upon Himself and was in extreme agony “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” – Matt. 26:38.
He was not in agony because He would be forsaken by men, but that He would be forsaken by God! Jesus was dreading the physical AND supernatural suffering of bearing the sins of the world and the wrath of God which they (we) deserved.
This wrath was a supernatural suffering in that it was unique. No one has ever, or will ever, bear this kind of weight again. It was unparalleled suffering from the sinless lamb of God who alone could truly understand the depth of God’s righteousness, man sins, and the wrath of God that was required.
Matthew and Luke tell us that as Christ prayed with great intensity to the Father about all that was before Him, He nearly came to the point of death. An angel was dispatched to Gethsemane to “strengthen Him” allowing Him to carry out the Divine plan.
Never ever lose sight of what the cross means. The level of His agony on the cross is equal to the level of our sinfulness and the disastrous consequences they bring. At the same time, the level of His agony is the measure of His love for us!. “In that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). What an incredible God!
Salvation comes when a person comes by faith alone in Christ alone as the One who was innocent, and yet died in their place, bearing the wrath of God which their sins deserved. Those who reject Christ and His once-for-all sacrifice will one day bear the wrath of God for eternity.
In the midst of your Easter festivities, I beg you to pause and reflect deeply on the tremendous price that was paid on your behalf and share with someone why Easter is the greatest day on the Christian’s calendar – HE LIVES!