Cup of Suffering

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane.

How fitting! The word Gethsemane means olive press. In such a press, under a large rolling stone, crushed olives gave up their precious oil.

Here on the Mount of Olives, Jesus endures a crushing weight of suffering - My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

As the cross creeps closer, He prays - My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.

Is it only the prospect of losing His life that is pressing down on Him?

Crucifixion was an especially agonizing death. Anyone would recoil at the prospect of such a violent end.

But there is something worse than death pressing in on Jesus’ mind. For Him, the cross will be more than a painful way to die. At the same time He must also bear the sins of the whole world!

In some very real sense, Jesus would not only be dying physically. He would taste death for every person. The pang of the penalty of sin - separation from the Father!
Nobody understands what that really means. At least, not as deeply as Jesus when He fell on His face in lonely Gethsemane that night.

Only Jesus - one with the Father throughout all of eternity past - could even begin to understand the unfathomable pain of interrupting such a relationship. For Him, this must be the true horror and revulsion of the cross!

Here in the garden He anticipates the abandonment that will soon crescendo from the cross in the heart-rending cry – My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

He is in the press! Crushed, His spirit yields the sweet oil of obedience - Yet not as I will, but as you will.

1 comment:

  1. While in the press... contemplating what would soon take place, the physical pain of the crucifixion, the emotional trauma of abandonment from his closest friends, the spiritual separation from the Father...

    Who is he thinking about?

    What does he say to his disciples?

    "Pray that you do not fall into temptation."

    Still thinking about his students, his disciples, his friends. Concerned about their spiritual wellbeing, knowing the trials and tests they were about to face.

    "Pray that you do not fall into temptation."

    Not a bad prayer for us to repeat!