John 18:11 "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"
Jesus mind and attitude were firmly made up. He would accept the cup.
What was this cup?
When Jesus prayed in the Garden, in Luke, he asks, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.
Most agree that “the cup” referred to the suffering and death he was to experience.
Once his prayer was completed, Jesus was able to complete his mission, and drink this cup.
And when we as Christians drink from the cup at communion, we are also identifying ourselves as Jesus disciples, submitting to God’s will in our lives, recognizing Jesus' great sacrifice.
So Jesus knew what was going to happen, he knew the time had arrived, and he was willing to face it, even without the support of his friends and family.
No-one really understood the absolute need for Jesus to be tried and executed.
Certainly Judas was willing to betray him. Peter wanted Jesus to win an earthly victory with his great abilities, wisdom and influence. He was even willing to resort to violence. And when this was rejected by Jesus, Peter rejected him.
His mother Mary and his aunty, the other Mary’s and John looked helplessly on at the cross. Probably confused as well as distraught. Surely he took his faith too far?
What of that young man that decided to go onto Sentinel island?
What of Israel Falau?
Surely these people are taking their faith too far?
What of Jesus, who showed so much promise, so much understanding, who gained so much of a following, and was able to do such amazing miracles, what a waste of a life, and at such a young age.
You see no one was planning on grace, on full forgiveness, on a resurrection. No one.
And what of us?
Would we have had any moral power to hold back from anger, disappointment, offence, shame, and hurt?
Would we do any better than the religious leaders? The political leaders? The criminals crucified with him? Those watching him die? The disciples?
The answer is clearly no. We would be no better.
But what actually happened on that cross?
Yes, an innocent man was condemned to death. An innocent and good man.
But was this not the cross of all history?
Is this not the black hole of the universe that sucks in all sin into a gravitational force that no sin, once within its realm can escape?
Not only sin, but sinners are dragged into this powerful irresistible vortex, destroying us and all our plans for self aggrandisement.
We are drawn in with our enemies and friends. People we hate, and who hate us, and the vortex forces us to face each other and our consciences, and confess that we are despicable in our pretences.
The super tsunami of pure wrath-love falls from that cross destroying us, and all of our plans for greatness, security, success. We are left crippled, disabled, with a desperate need for righteousness, a hunger for holiness, a place to rest from our continual painful failures.
The cross emits an aroma, one that God our Father breathes in with deep satisfaction, because he planned it and sent his dearest Son, who shared his deep longing to redeem the lost.
The cross is the place where we are washed, sanctified, justified. Transformed.
The rebel is disarmed. The robber repents, the soldier yields, the sinner confesses, the proud-religious are silenced, and the guilty-condemned find peace.
The full price for all sin, for all time is completely wiped out.
It’s not like the millions of dollars offered by billionaires to help restore a priceless work of history to its former glory,
It is a mountain range of gold offered for the mean two-dollar shop of Satan.
We are not worthy to be part of what God has done, but God has come to us and deliberately drawn us into his loving family.
When Jesus drank this cup he did it for Peter, for his mother, for Pilate, for Nicodemus, for the high priest, and for us. But he also did it in loving obedience to his Father, because he longed to serve his Father like no other son has ever served any other father before or since.