We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Let This Cup Pass

Did Jesus really pray to be spared from the crucifixion? It has always bothered me a little to think that Jesus was trying to back out of the very purpose for which he came. In John chapter 12, just prior to the crucifixion, Jesus asks the following question with an answer that should make any thinking person wonder what’s going on. Here’s what John records: “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”

Later in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is reported to be praying the opposite of what he just said he couldn’t pray! Something sounds suspicious. First, if you look closely, Jesus doesn’t pray to be released from the cross . . . he prays for “this cup to pass from him.” Also, if you look at Dr. Luke’s account you will notice that Jesus is sweating great drops of blood. His body is in anguish. The sweating of blood is a medical condition where one who is under extreme duress actually can break capillaries, leading to death. The cup that Jesus is referring to is the cup of his present sufferings . . . not the cup of the cross. Is it possible that Jesus was actually dying in the garden and therefore cries out of his Father to let the cup of his present sufferings to pass from him that night so that he could go on to the cross? If you continue reading Dr. Luke’s account you will see that this interpretation makes perfect sense when considering what happens next: “Angels descended, ministering to him and strengthening him.” Jesus’ prayer was answered and now he is strong enough to go to the cross.

Jesus wasn’t cowering from the cross, demonstrating His human weakness, but on the contrary . . . he was demonstrating His love for us by making sure He shed the rest of his blood on the cross as it was written.

If you would like to read a book that will set your heart aflame for the love of Christ, I recommend the reading of Titus: A Comrade of the Cross. Written in 1896, this book received so much attention that six weeks after its first printing 200,000 additional copies were printed. And the author of this masterpiece received a thousand dollar award for writing a story that could set a child’s heart on fire for Christ . . . it will do the same for children and adults today!

Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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