What do you fear the most? Is there something that causes you to tremble and shake with anxiety? We’re probably hard pressed to imagine such a thing, but there was something of this magnitude for Jesus. It is written in Luke 22:41-44…
(Jesus) withdrew from (The Apostles) about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus feared “the cup.” Why? What was it about “this cup” that was so scary as to necessitate angels to strengthen Christ? What was it about the “cup” that would cause agony accompanied by sweat as great drops of blood? Some equate the “cup” with the physical sufferings Jesus would experience. For a lesser man, that might be true. But many have suffered extreme physical torture without being broken. No, it wasn’t the physical things Jesus feared. It was the cup of God’s wrath Jesus feared the most (Further explained in a later post). Let those five words settle into your soul… The Cup Of God’s Wrath. Now contemplate two words, GOD’S WRATH.
We can’t get our minds around such a concept, but Jesus knew it well. We think of when people become angry, mad, or furious. But all the accumulated anger of every human being who has ever lived isn’t 1/100,000,000,000,000 of what GOD’S WRATH is like. (Pause) I’ve been trying to come up with a metaphor for 15 minutes and they all fail to adequately describe God’s wrath. But Jesus knew what it would be like.
Because Christ knew full well what was coming on him, he wanted to avoid it. Jesus didn’t want to have God’s wrath poured out on him. Contemplating it scared him so much he came close to dying just contemplating it. That is why Jesus prayed, “If you are willing, remove this cup from me.”