About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Cup Of Suffering
Christians have their heads buried in the sand of self indulgence and
the ways of this world. They
fail to recognize the road signs, warning us of the rough ride ahead.
The disciples of Jesus didn't quite see these road signs either,
but unlike us, their heads were buried in the sand of confusion and
misunderstanding. There's no
reason for us to be so confused.
in the Garden
death was unlike any human death. He
didn't quietly pass away in His sleep.
The physical torture was hard to bare, but He wasn't the only one
to have experienced execution on a cross.
It was the excruciating pain of becoming riddled with our sin and
sickness that really smothered His soul.
As every fabric of His being was focused towards heaven, His
heart was horrified to see His Father's back instead of His face.
He knew "it was finished".
He simply gave up His spirit. (Matthew 27:50) In
other words, it wasn't the Jews, the Romans, or the cross, that took
Jesus' human life from Him. As
an act of His will, an offering for sin, He simply released Himself from
His human body.
the record, the two criminals who were executed with Jesus didn't die
because of being hung on the cross either.
Crucifixion was a long painful death by asphyxiation.
The process would often last for days.
The two criminals died when the soldiers broke their legs. (John
19:31-33) When their legs
were broken, they could no longer push up with their feet to breathe.
Their death was immediate. Jesus'
legs weren't broken because He was already dead.
He was nailed to the cross at third hour. ( 9 A M - Mark 15:25)
He died at the ninth hour when He was taken down from the cross
by the soldiers. (3 P M - Matthew 27:46)
He was on the cross for 6 hours.
was made clear to Jesus in the Garden
that He must drink from the
cup of suffering. Wondering
if His disciples would be willing to drink from this same cup, He asked,
"can you drink the cup I drink"?
They confidently, but ignorantly, responded by saying, "we
can". I'm sure it
pained Jesus, but He said it anyway. "You
will drink the cup I drink". (Mark 10:38-39)
If the disciples had only known how true these words would
become, they would have dropped to the floor in agony, and like Jesus,
cried out to drink from a different cup.
Passover, Jesus drank from a cup of wine that represented His blood.
He then passed this cup to His disciples and said, "you
drink". More than a
symbolic gesture, Jesus was inviting His disciples to not only share a
cup of wine, but to share in the cup of His suffering.
The apostle Peter never forgot this.
He would later encourage his readers to rejoice when they
suffered, because such suffering was in fact sharing in the sufferings
of Christ. (1 Peter 4:13)
disciples had little clue how rough the road would become for them and
how they would share in this cup. They
would be snared, trapped between the religious establishment and the
government of their day, both of whom would offer them their own
personalized cup of suffering.
yourself as a disciple of Jesus. You've
just spent the last 3 years following Jesus up and down the dusty roads
come back to the reality of our world.
We're walking on a very similar road.
On one side is an anti-Christ, secular, even pagan, society, who
opposes all things Christian. On
the other side is an apostate church that has liberalized the Bible into
a lifeless liturgy. Both
worlds are offering us a choice. Drink
from the cup of compromise or else you'll be drinking from the cup of
warned us that this anti-Christ world would hate us, persecute us, and
even execute some of us. (John 15:18, 17:14, Matthew 24:9) I'm
not promoting a persecution complex.
I'm simply stating Biblical fact. The road signs are being
erected all around us. We
can't afford to burry our heads in the sand of self indulgence and the
ways of this world. If we
ignore these warning signs or pretend they're not there, we won't be
prepared for the dead end sign when it appears on the horizon.
At that point the cup of compromise will be hard to resist, the
very cup that many are drinking from right now.
light of this, hear the Word of the Lord and take it seriously.
"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand
at all". (Isaiah 7:9)