What Was the Cup Jesus Prayed Would Pass from Him?


On the night before Jesus was crucified, He said to His disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” He went into the garden, fell on His face, and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:36-56).

Luke 22:44 says, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood.” Three times He prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

What is this cup that caused Jesus such agony? Many believe it was the way He was about to die. Indeed, crucifixion was such a painful form of punishment, a new word was coined to describe it: “excruciating.”

But many Christians, beginning with the apostles, have rejoiced to suffer for the gospel. Why was Jesus in dread? Because the cup He was to drink from was the cup of God’s wrath. Psalm 75:8 says, “For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and He pours out from it and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.”

It’s that cup Jesus drank for His own when He died on the cross for our sins. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Whoever who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on Him (John 3:36).

“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), when we understand the text.

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