Luke 22:41-4441 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus and his disciples celebrated a Passover meal together the night he was arrested. The meal reminded them of how God had once delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Four cups of wine are a traditional part of the Passover meal and each cup has a different name and significance. The third cup, the cup of redemption, is usually drunk after the meal. Jesus was not only reminding his disciples how God had redeemed their ancestors in the past, but he was also suggesting what he was about to do on the cross for all mankind. They were supposed to remember him when drinking this cup in the future.
There is no record that Jesus drank the fourth cup, the cup of praise or completion, with his disciples. Instead, he stated that he would not drink from the fruit of the vine again until the Kingdom of God had come. In the Garden of Gethsemane he even asked for this cup to pass him. The Passover ritual did not seem to be over yet.
However, amazingly, in John 19:28-29 we can see that on the cross, when all was completed, he actually drank from the fruit of the vine again. When Jesus had received this sour wine, he could finally say, “It is finished.”
Jesus was obedient to His Father and knew what was required of him, going to the cross, being the Passover lamb for mankind, ushering in the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom did not come in the resurrection; it already came right there on the cross.
What Jesus was going through in the Garden of Gethsemane is something no none of us can really imagine. None of us have ever sweated drops of blood in anguish, have we? However, being obedient and finishing what God has asked us to do affects us all. It might be something big or something small, it might feel like the cost is too great or maybe it is just uncomfortable sometimes. Either way, are we willing to drink our cup, so to speak, pray, “Not my will, but your will be done” every day, and step out in obedience until the end? Are we willing to trust that God knows what is best for us and the people around us?
Thank you, Jesus, that you were obedient and went to the cross so that I could be saved and live. Help me to follow through and give me strength in the area of _ where you are asking me to be obedient because I know you have the best plan for my life. Amen.