It was his last Passover with the disciples. They did not know that, but Jesus did. He knew what was coming, and, during the meal, Jesus gave them (and us) something to remember, the bread and the wine would be his body and his blood. “This is my body, which is given for you. This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:19-20). The disciples would, the following day, watch these words play out on a Roman cross. “But behold,” Jesus warned, “the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table” (Luke 22:21). Jesus already knew about Judas! “And you, Peter,” Jesus said, “the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34). And it happened. The disciples will remember that Jesus knew ahead of time all that would happen, that he was still and always in command, but foreknowledge does not make the cross easier, rather, all-the-more terrifying.
Daddy had the flu. Five-year-old Sara wanted to help, and in she walked carrying a tray. On the tray, Sports Illustrated, some saltine crackers, and a cup of tea. “I didn’t know you could make tea,” smiled Dad. Sara smiled back and nodded her head. “I put the tea leaves in the water like Mom does, and then I strained it into a cup,” explained Sara. “But I couldn’t find a strainer, so I used the flyswatter.”
Do you drink the tea?
Taking some disciples with him to the Mount of Olives, Jesus “knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.’” Jesus knew exactly what was in the cup set before him. He did not want to drink the cup. “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:41-42). He drank the cup, the cup of wrath for the sins of the world.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” ~1John 3:16
Our choice is not to sacrifice, but to love, and sacrifice gladly follows.
My Savior Jesus, You came to this earth and drank the cup of death that belonged to me. You took my sin and made it Your own and bore my penalty of death for my sake. You demonstrated a love that I can barely comprehend. You are God, my Creator, and I rejected You–but You never rejected me. In fact, You became like me so You could go to the cross for me. You knew exactly what was coming.
I want to pray what You prayed, not my will, but Yours be done. Make me into someone who is willing to drink the cup of sacrifice, to display my love for You through my love for others, taking last place in order to serve those ahead of me.