Tuesday, November 14

Drink the cup

Scripture: John 18

John 18:4–6 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”5 They replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.)6 So when Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they retreated and fell to the ground.

John 18:11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Observation

Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him—yet rather than running or defending Himself, He purposely stepped forward and identified Himself to those who came to arrest Him. Profound courage and a clear calling. He was no martyr, but a willing sacrifice. 

“No one takes My life from Me; I lay it down of my own accord.” John 10:18

Peter jumped to His defense; Jesus told him to put his sword away, and asked, “Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given Me?” The cup of suffering and death was the Father’s will, and Jesus came to do His will. Again: a clear calling, amazing courage. 

Matthew tells us that Jesus told Peter, “Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions of angels right now?” (26:53) He was not a victim; He was in charge!

The soldiers said that they were looking for Jesus the Nazarene, and Jesus answered, “I am He.” They fell back. Jesus used the divine name of God, “I am.” John seems to imply that this was understood by the arresting party and they fell back stunned and in awe. Even in this dark hour of His arrest, Jesus is in charge. He is still God—and that makes His willing sacrifice all the more amazing.

Application

First and most importantly, this story should inspire deep gratitude, awe and reverence for Jesus. Knowing what was coming and that He could easily avoid it, Jesus drank the cup of suffering for my sake. I owe Him everything.

Second, let this inspire you to do hard things for God, to say to His will even when it means hardship or suffering or pain. Drink the cup! Particularly the cup of suffering for the sake of others. I prefer comfort over suffering—help me Lord. 

Prayer: Lord, I love You! Thank You for giving Yourself for me, for us. Thank You for doing the Father’s will even when it was unimaginably hard. Help me live with gratitude, and follow Your example of courageously doing hard things for God…for others. 

More: Esther 7-10, Luke 14