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The Bitter Cup

In the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night of His arrest, Jesus was in anguish. The Son of God, co-creator of the world with the Father, was struggling with His humanity. He knew exactly what He had to do, but in the weakness of human flesh His soul was deeply troubled (Matthew 26:38).

He looked to His disciples for support. This was probably the first time in His human life that He needed them beside Him. But they let Him down. It was late, they were tired. They fell asleep. ‘“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” He asked’ (Matthew 26:40).

Where was all the wisdom and strength He knew in the wilderness when He was tempted by the devil? It was there He overcame all the power of darkness by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). But this time the Father seemed strangely distant. This time He was on His own.

Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:39). A cup so bitter, so acerbic, that He didn’t know if He could take it or not. But the Father’s will was paramount. “Not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). “It was for this very reason I came to this hour”(John 12:27).

The time had come. Six hours after being cruelly nailed to a wooden cross, Jesus knew the moment had arrived. The world would never be the same again. ‘Knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst ...” They filled a sponge with sour wine ... and put it to His mouth. When He had received (it) He said, “It is finished” (John 19:28-30).

He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. It was done. All was accomplished. Jesus had taken to Himself all the bitterness of mankind, and died. In his sinless humanity He’d done what He came to do. He drank the sour wine of sin and took it with Him to death.

Three days later, Jesus rose victorious from the grave. Death had been conquered. New life was resurrected, and the way was re-opened for mankind to walk into the Kingdom.

‘For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous’ (Romans 5:19).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m humbled at the thought that You took everything impure which was within me, and died with it all. That You should do this for me is overwhelming. My desire is to live for You in the freedom that You won for me. I submit myself to You afresh now, and ask You to be my Lord, as well as my Saviour. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
 

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Scripture

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Luke 22:42, NIV

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Today's Writer

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are Hosts for the Explore courses at Ellel Grange. They are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

Ron Scurfield


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