Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Two phrases in six words"

Lets go into Easter mode for a few weeks. There are three major cup phrases in the Passion weeks on our Savior. First the communion cup. Second, the cup in Jesus' prayer asking for it to pass from him. The third, isn't a cup, but it is a thirst quenching cup. Jesus is on the cross and He declares that he thirst. The soldiers raise the third cup (a sponge) that is filled with vinegar. I am starting with Jesus' request first - "Let this cup pass from me...."
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." - Matthew 26:39


Most people read verses like this and believe that Jesus was referring to the pain and suffering that he was going to soon experience. I don’t believe Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane sweating drops of blood because he was really worried about the upcoming terrible treatment that he was about to suffer. Jesus indeed knew that great pain and suffering was about to enter into his life, but even though this pain and suffering was going to be extremely difficult, this was not what Jesus prays for or what seems to concerning Him. The Son of God had known for all of eternity that these events would occur and that he would have to face them and indeed, he was ready to face them. In fact, Jesus realized that this was the very purpose for him coming here to earth. God the Father along with The Son had planned for all of eternity these events that were in the process of taking place.

Peter tells us in Acts 2:23 "Jesus Christ, being delivered by the predetermined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death." That is why he voluntarily took the human form of Jesus Christ so that he would be able to suffer and die as a mortal human being. Only through this incredible act of love could mankind have any chance of salvation and eternal life. The very last thing that Our Lord would want is not to be able to complete his mission for his Father.

So, if Jesus was not worried about any of the pain and suffering, what was He concerned with? Jesus’ heart was so heavy because He knew He was about to be separated from God the Father. And the reason that Jesus was going to be separated from his Father was because he was about to have every single sin that mankind had ever committed, or would ever commit, laid directly upon his soul. He knew that he was going to be carrying all the sins of the world, and he realized that these sins would be the very reason why he would be separated from his Heavenly Father. 2 Corinthians 5:12 "For He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." He knew that his Father hates sin. God won't even be in the presence of sin, that sin is ungodly and wicked, and that sin is the actual rejection of God. And most importantly, he knew that sin separates the sinner from God. You cannot be in sin and at the same time be with God.
So Jesus knew that once all of mankind's sins began to be transferred over to him, then he would be separated from his Father. The sins of mankind that Jesus was going to carry was going to alienate and separate him from his Father, for the very first time and only time in all of eternity.

As the crucifixion of Jesus Christ started, the very first sins began to pile up on his soul. Jesus, for the first time in all of eternity felt the same separation from God the Father that any person feels who is living in sin and who is outside the grace of God. For the first time in all of eternity there was a complete separation, a complete alienation from his heavenly Father. The sins of all mankind that Jesus was carrying caused God the Father to separate himself from his Son.

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