A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

July 8, 2012

Matthew 26:42

     He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 

Christ at Gethsemane by Harry Anderson

     This passage of Scripture has always seemed so poignant to me.  Jesus is just hours away from being arrested, and He knows what is coming.  Notice that this is the second time He removed himself from his disciples to pray.  The first time He asks if it is possible, that "this cup" be taken from Him.
     Just what was in the cup?  Many commentaries state that throughout the Bible, "cup" has been a symbol of both deep sorrow or suffering, and blessings or provisions.  By a far greater majority, it usually has a deeper meaning of being full of God's wrath and judgment.   
       The cup of judgment has been offered to individuals (Psalms 75:8); the nations (Jeremiah 25:15-17); and Jerusalem (Isaiah 51:17), among others.  Each time this cup of wrath and judgment is offered because of rebellion on the part of the recipient.  And here's an important aspect of this "cup" that you need to know:  once offered, it cannot be refused.  It is inevitable that the cup will be poured out.
     Jesus knows that there is no turning back.  His mission is to receive the cup of wrath and judgment on our behalf.  He does not ask to have it removed because He is fearful, or because He doubts, or because He questions His Father's will.  He is 100% willing to carry out His mission and is not trying to avoid His purpose.  The only thing that troubles Him is the knowledge that, during the completion of His task, the Father's face will be turned away from Him for a short time.  It is this separation from God that He wishes He could avoid.
     And it is this exact separation that we should all be trying to avoid.  For, like Jesus, we should recognize that being separated from God is the worst possible existence we can know.  It is the one situation that should grieve our souls.  Because Jesus knew that He could make it through anything --- even taking on the sins of the entire wicked world --- if His Father was with Him.  He shows us that "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
     So when Jesus expresses "May your will be done", He gives us the perfect example of obedience.   He shows us that God's discipline and judgment ultimately glorifies God, himself.  When we attempt to dodge or evade God's teaching and instruction through His judgment, then we renounce our relationship with the Father who loves us.  We must follow Jesus's example and bear our cross, no matter how fearful or terrible it may seem.  Because, when we stay in relationship with God, and repent of our sins, we will once again see the Father on the other side of the judgment, and He will restore us to a righteous relationship with Him.
     This passage of Scripture is all about obedience ... Jesus's willingness to serve and glorify His Father in Heaven.  May we all keep this verse at the forefront of our faith as we enter a time of severe testing.  My prayer is that I will not hide from, or run away from, opportunities to show my obedience to the God Most High.  For He is worthy of glory, and honor, and power.  May His will be done!  

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