Jesus is in absolute agony, sweating blood, as he prays honestly with the Father. What is the cup he is so grieved about? It is the cup of the wrath of God. Every sin is like a drop into a cup. We pour the sin in. God, at the end of this life, pours out commensurate wrath. Yet Jesus submits his will to the Father’s; he exchanges places with us on the cross and drinks every single drop of the wrath of God. The cross is where the love of God is most clearly seen: wrath was poured out on Jesus, and love was poured out for us.
Here is Jesus praying to God the Father. He has his prayer partners, who are failing him, and also an angel who is comforting him. We’ll look at everyone who is involved here. First of all, there are Jesus’ friends. They are to be partners in prayer, and they fail him in his most difficult, arduous season, moment of life. I know that for some of you, this is where church is difficult, or Christian friendships are difficult, or signing up for a Community Group is difficult, because perhaps in the past, you’ve extended yourself, and God’s people have failed you. Let me say that on behalf of Jesus, I’m sorry. We’re sorry. And I know that there are people who would say that about me. "Mark failed me." And so I’m not without guilt, as well. But one thing I do love is, though Jesus’ friends failed him, you’ll see later on in Luke, Jesus remains friends with them. He continues to love, pursue, forgive, and to work on the friendship, to work on the friendship. How many of you, right now, are really failing somebody who needs you? They’re in a season of real trouble and trial. It’s a dark day for them, and maybe you’re too busy, or at least that’s the excuse that you use, or perhaps they’re just depressing, because of the season they’re in. The Puritan Matthew Henry used to talk of swallow friends, meaning they leave when winter comes. Are you that kind of friend? "Boy, your life is really hard. Let me know when you’re through it, and I’d love to see you again." Those are Jesus’ friends in his darkest day.
You are in grave danger. You are filling your cup of wrath. If you die apart from Jesus, he will pour out full strength the full cup of that wrath on you forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever! But Jesus also drank a cup. Jesus drank a cup, the cup of the wrath of God. This is why he was sleepless. This is why he was sweating blood, that he exchanged places with us. Dear friend, I want to tell you about the love of God now, but first I need to tell you about the righteous hatred of God, so that when I tell you about the love of God, it’s as loving as it truly is. At the cross of Jesus, there is hatred for Jesus and love for us, so that when we die, there would not be hatred for us, but just love; that Jesus is God among us, that Jesus became one of us, that Jesus lived the life we’ve not lived, that Jesus died the death we should die, and that on the cross, the wrath of God was poured out on the Son of God. To say it another way, Jesus took the cup on the cross and drank every single drop of the wrath of God, and he endured it. This was physical, emotional, spiritual, mental suffering to a degree that is incomprehensible; when God made him who knew no sin to become the sin of the world, so that in him we might become the righteousness of Christ. Jesus died the death that you and I should deserve.Next week, Luke 94, "Jesus and Judas."