Blog Archive

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Cup

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near...
But God is the Judge: He puts down one,
And exalts another.
For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup,
And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out;
Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth
Drain and drink down.
But I will declare forever,
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
(Psalms 75:1,7-9 NKJV)

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-44 NKJV)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46 NKJV)

Learned scholars debate the nature of "forsaken" when Jesus declared it of Himself, arguing Trinity unity prohibits separation. Indeed, it could mean no full, final separation when the Son was by the Father forsaken.

Yet in marriage—God's picture of being united in heart, soul, mind and body—there are painful moments of separation. Not the finality of divorce, but agonizing rejection when one spouse embodies a concept the other finds abhorrent, and unity is impossible until a change occurs.

The wicked must not sip but drain a cup filled by sin with separation from God. It was not merely crucifixion's suffering, but the separation from which Jesus drew back when the Father presented that cup in Gethsemane. To embody our sin meant Jesus became abhorrent to the Father just long enough to accept our death penalty.

For whatever else we give thanks, let it often be that God is near, and we need not drink of the cup from which the very Son of God three times begged His Abba to be delivered.

Lord Jesus, thank You for drinking from the cup that belonged to us. Thank You for receiving the agony we will never know. Thank You for taking upon Yourself the sin so utterly abhorrent to both You and the Father. Please enable us to accept from Your hand whatever You offer us.

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Copyright 2008, Anne Lang Bundy

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