“Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus spent hours in prayer. The portion of the prayer recorded for us had to do with a cup. The event is recorded in Mark 14:35-36,
“He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, ‘ Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’”
Earlier that evening Jesus had taken a cup and distributed it to His disciples, explaining that it was the Blood of the new covenant.
“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28
It is clear, the cup that Jesus referred to was the cross, and the impending judgment He would face as He bore the sins of humanity. That cup, that judgment, was so great that it caused Him to sweat blood as He faced the reality of it in the garden. The judgment would include all the weight, penalty, and guilt of sin; as well as being forsaken by the Father, as He became sin for us.
Because Jesus tasted that cup bearing our sin, Paul declares,
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Righteousness is the standard for entrance into Heaven. The level of righteousness required is God’s perfection. What a wonderful truth, that He bore our sin so that we might be made righteous.
For any who reject the provision made possible because Jesus drank the cup of Calvary, Revelation declares,
“. . . he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation…” Revelation 14:10
Jesus tasted the cup of wrath so we would never have to. If you have not believed and received Christ, why not do that right now. Pray, “Jesus, thank you for taking my sin and providing me with Your righteousness. I receive You as my Savior and Lord”
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Questions for John 18
- Judas comes to betray Jesus in the garden. Who does he bring with him? What do they have with them?
- Read verses 4-9. Although the soldiers come with military force to arrest Him, what phrases in these verses show that Jesus was the one who was really in command of the situation?
- Peter does not understand that Jesus is in charge of this situation. How does He respond to them coming after Jesus? What does Jesus say to him to correct him?
- Who did the soldiers lead Jesus to? Who was he related to?
- Who else manages to get in to witness this unlawful interrogation of Jesus?
- Read verses 17-18, and 25-27. How is Peter’s witness for Jesus in this chapter? Did Jesus already know that Peter was going to be this way (John 13:38)?
- The Jews would not enter into the Praetorium because they felt it was an unclean Gentile place that would defile them, preventing them from being able to eat the Passover. While they were worried about the ceremonial, symbolic Passover, the Living Passover Lamb that the ceremony represented was right in front of them! Read Exodus 11-12 to learn more about the Passover.
- Because they were a Roman province, the Jews had to abide by Roman law, and no longer had the authority to execute capital punishment. The Jewish method of execution was by stoning; the Roman method, by crucifixion. Read Matt 20:17-19, and compare it with John 18:29-32. Even though it was the Jews who were trying to kill Him throughout the gospels, Jesus knew all along how He would die.
- In verses 36-37 Jesus claims to be a king of a kingdom. Although there are many aspects to the kingdom He rules, what are the things that this passage teaches us about His kingdom?
- What is Pilate’s conclusion upon interrogating and examining Jesus? (verse 38) Compare this with Hebrews 4:15 and 1Peter 1:18-19.