The Darkest Cup
Gracious God, I trust in Your great wisdom and I come to Your Word today to gain more of it.
Read MARK 14:32-42
 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”  Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.  When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.  Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat attitude did Jesus have as he prayed?
Up until now we have seen Jesus in control: bringing peace, healing, life. Now we see him in torment (33). We could look on, like the disciples did (33,37,41), oblivious to the depth of his anguish. Or we could reverently seek to understand his inner struggle. Spend time with Jesus in this garden. Read and reread the passage, asking the Holy Spirit to share God’s mysteries with you.
Hear his cry as he struggles with the temptation to run away from the role he was born to fulfill (36,38). He knows that the cup his Father asks him to drink, the cup of God’s wrath and judgment, spoken of by the Old Testament prophets (Jer. 25:15,16; Isa. 51:17-22), will bring him unimaginable pain. God is asking him to face judgment for all the sin of humankind—every dark and despicable act of willful selfishness and rebellion. If he accepts, it will mean total alienation from the Father who has always loved and approved him (36, see 9:7). We cannot begin to imagine that level of emotional, mental and spiritual anguish.
Reflect on Jesus’ commitment to you. Confess to him. Thank him. Praise him. Adore him.
Lord Jesus, I can’t imagine what You went through for me. Help me never to take it for granted.
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