“Jesus and the Cup” out of Matthew 26:36-46 was preached on September 30th, 2012 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #38 in Ekklesia’s The King and His Cross sermon series.
Scripture – Matthew 26:36-46
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Jesus, the night before his crucifixion, goes with disciples to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. While in the garden, Jesus is overcome with astonishment and horror. Why? We see in the gospel accounts that Jesus already knew that he was going to die a brutal death, in fact, he had foretold his disciples that truth multiple times. Jesus is not overcome with astonishment and horror because of approaching physical torment, but because of approaching wrath. In the garden Jesus is given a foretaste of the cup that he would soon drink on the cross. Jesus gets a whiff of the separation, the emptiness, the chasm, the abyss of the cup. In the Old and New Testament’s the cup is a metaphor for God’s divine wrathful judgement that is carried out on mankind for their evil and sin (Ezekiel 23:32-24, Isaiah 51:22, and Revelation 16:19). Jesus knew that on the cross he was going to have to drink the cup of God’s wrath in order to save us from sin. The bible calls what Jesus did on the cross propitiation (Romans 3:21-26, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10).
Peter, James, and John were in the garden with Jesus. When Jesus went away from them to pray, he asked them to do one thing, “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me'” (Matthew 26:38), and they failed, “And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Matthew 26:40-41). Peter, James, and John are given a simple task, but they can’t do it. They are weak; the are rebellious; they are, in a word, sinful. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ disciples are doing exactly what their first father Adam had done in the garden of Eden. Adam was given a simple task- to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil- and he failed. Adam’s failure in Eden and the disciples failure in Gethsemane plainly reveal that mankind is weak, rebellious, and sinful. And because of our sin we are subject to God’s just and wrathful judgement. But on the cross, Jesus, the true and better Adam, drank the cup of God’s wrath so that we could drink the cup of God’s salvation! For those whom Jesus has saved by grace through faith, the cup of wrath is empty and the cup of salvation is full.
Q1. Was there anything from Sunday’s sermon or the big idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q2. What does Jesus’ astonishment and horror in the garden tell us about the seriousness of the cross?
Many people in the world, and even people that claim Christianity don’t accept that God would be angry or wrathful or a judge.
Q3. What do we lose if we deny the biblical view of God’s wrathful judgement taken out on sinners?
Q4. Since Jesus drank the cup of wrath, we ______________________.
The cup of wrath is forever empty and the cup of salvation is forever full. Let us live in response to the beautiful gift of Jesus’ “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).