Matthew 26: 36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
John 18: 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Notice the change in Jesus’ tone from Matthew to John’s writings. This was his last night of human life on this earth. The others didn’t know this. Judas wasn’t 100% sure Jesus would be in the garden. The Sanhedrin wasn’t sure that they’d get him that night. The disciples thought this was just a regular Passover. The still thought the Messiah would fix the world. When they started to the garden Jesus told them point blank how it was, but it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They felt God would somehow work it out without anyone getting hurt.
Somebody had to suffer. Jesus knew every detail of how he would suffer. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that he would suffer at the hands of sinful men. Jesus began the awful work of facing it. Not only would he die, he would suffer in ways we’ll never suffer. He knew about the smacking, buffeting, and the crown of thorns, the cat of nine tails, the carrying of the cross and hanging there by his own weight. He would be cut and bruised. His blood would run into his eyes and down his body. Every drop had to be shed. He knew his disciples would forsake him.
He would experience something in the garden he had never experienced. What would begin in the garden that Jesus wouldn’t know? He told Peter, James, and John his soul was exceeding sorrowful. This was their place of prayer, a good place. What waited on Jesus? He knew all things, but he didn’t know how the suffering would feel. The only way to truly know suffering is to undergo it. Some of you know how awful some pains are; others don’t know. Jesus knew the suffering was coming, but he had never been harmed physically. He had been verbally abused, but no one had ever hurt him. What waited on him would cause suffering like never before. Sin brings suffering and pain. There is ease and pleasure in sin for a season, but the wages are agony. A person pays and suffers for sin here but the torments of hell wait for eternity. In order for Jesus to be Savior he had to take our sins and the harm those sins caused.
Jesus spoke of it as a cup. There in the darkness of midnight in the garden Jesus fell on his face saying if it be possible let this cup pass from me. A cup is a container to hold things. In order for us to be saved our sins had to be borne. The cup is filled with the sins of all who have or ever will live. All our sins—past, present and future—were in the cup. Consider the injury, hurt, and ruin of sin. It went in the cup. The side effects and consequences come with sin. The punishment is separation from God. That’s why Jesus got so heavy and sorrowful. He had never sinned. We’ve all sinned, but not Jesus. He was tempted in all points but he never gave in. He was the only one who could take our sins to himself and free us from them.
No wonder he fell on his face. No wonder he cried for it to pass. It was so awful and horrible. Imagine dealing with all that sin. By the grace of God we’re saved. Without Jesus Christ none of us are good. That’s how bad we are. People brag and parade their sins as if nothing is wrong. God have mercy. Things are held back now because of his mercy, but when the rapture takes place it will cut loose.
The devil told Jesus we weren’t worth it. By the third time of coming to his disciples and finding them sleeping he was ready to take it. That was my cup. It was yours. It wasn’t his. Jesus loved us so much that he took it. If he hadn’t drunk it, we’d have no Savior. He didn’t want the pain and agony of it, but he loved us too much not to do it. Not his will but God’s. The first drops of blood were shed in the garden. When he left there he appeared to be under the control of soldiers, but he went of his own free will. He told Peter to put away his sword because he had to drink the cup. He carried the cup all the way to Calvary and hung on the cross. Every drop of blood fell into that cup. The blood cleanses from all sin.
In Psalms 116:13 David said I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Through Jesus taking the cup of our sin all the way and letting his blood cover the sin, we have a cup of salvation. Jesus said we have life through his name. Thank God for a Savior who spent a night with the cup.