“Father…Take this cup away from Me.” Mk 14:36 NKJV
The next time you drink from the communion cup in church, stop and recall what was in the cup Jesus drank from in Gethsemane on the night before He was crucified. You can drink from the cup with assurance because He first drank from the cup in agony. On the eve of His death He prayed: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death…Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (vv. 34-36 NKJV). Note the words, “exceedingly sorrowful.” (If you think your sin is no big deal, perhaps those words will help to change your mind.) Christ drank from the cup of God’s wrath so that you could drink from the cup of God’s grace. Although He was sinless, He tasted the sins of both the most refined sinner and the most repulsive one. He had never felt God’s fury; He didn’t deserve to. He had never experienced isolation from His Father; the two had been one from before time began. He had never known physical death; He was an immortal being. Yet within a few hours God would unleash His sin-hating wrath on His sinlessly perfect Son. And as a man, Jesus was afraid. Deathly afraid. And what He did with His fear shows us what to do with ours. He prayed earnestly and persistently. He told His followers, “Sit here while I go and pray over there” (Mt 26:36 NKJV). Jesus faced His ultimate fear with honest prayer, and overcame it. And through prayer, you can overcome your fears too.
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