Written by: Tim Wood
After Jesus had finished his teaching in the upper room, he left with his disciples to the Garden of the Gethsemane. It was here that he prayed. It was here that he agonized over his impending suffering. It was here that he was arrested.
When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus Peter bolted into action. Peter drew a sword and cut the ear off of one of Jesus’ arrestors. His name was Malchus. Jesus said this to Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11).
Peter had a sword in his hand and Jesus had a cup. Peter was resisting the will of God the Father and Jesus was submitting to it. Peter and Jesus were not on the same page.
The drinking of a cup is often used in Scripture to illustrate experiencing suffering and sorrow. When Babylon captured Jerusalem, the city had “drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath…” (Isaiah 51:17). Jeremiah pictured God’s wrath against the nations as the pouring out of a cup (Jeremiah 25:15-28). There is also a cup of consolation, “a drink from a cup to console” (Jeremiah 16:7). David tells us about an overflowing cup in Psalm 23:5.
Jesus is able to accept the cup because he knows the Father has given it to him. The cup came from the Father’s hand. He did not resist the will of Father, he came to finish the will of the Father. Psalm 40:8 says, “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Jesus knew he had nothing to fear because of the Father’s deep and abiding love.
What an example! This is a challenging lesson for all of us. We need never fear the cups that the Father hands us. To begin with, our Savior has already drunk the cup. Secondly, the Father already knows all about the cup he gives us. He moves toward us with eternal love. If we ask for a stone, he gives us bread. If we ask for a snake he gives us a fish. It’s always for our good and for His glory.
Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. May we be on the same page; all for the glory of God!