“‘Abba, Father’, he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'” Mark 14:36 NIV
Offer me a cup of warm coffee and I am happily content with the smell and taste of the liquid comfort. Not iced, not flavored, but a simple cup of brewed coffee, a teaspoon of sugar, and a splash or two of heavy cream.
To this day, a cup of Coca-Cola makes my stomach lurch. My mother would offer me a glass when a virus made it impossible to keep anything down. The carbonation would do the trick, but my brain still associates that smell and taste with an upset stomach. While I rarely drink soda, Coca-Cola is not what I choose to fill my cup.
The heaviness of the past few weeks is taking its toll on my mind and emotions. I tend to absorb everything around me. The pain, sufferings, and anguish of our world is making me weary to the point of being unable to sleep. I don’t worry about the future. I have this hope that God is still on the throne and in full-control of this pandemic. However, my heart grieves for the lives lost and effected by its quake. My cup is full to overflowing with grief.
God, take this cup from our world.
Today marks Jesus’ death on the cross, almost 2000 years ago. We look forward to Sunday, Resurrection Day, when the weight of the sins of the world is removed as the stone is rolled away from the mouth of the tomb. But first, we must sit, with a cup in our hands and ask God to take it.
Our gracious God gave us himself in human form to wrestle with our sin.
Jesus knew what had to be done for the cup to be taken from Him. His humanity and honesty before God uttered a plea that he wouldn’t have to endure what was to come. In that cup, full to overflowing, is my sin. Before I can celebrate the resurrection, I have to wrestle with my sin in Jesus’ cup.
Jesus holds a cup for each one of us. Full to over-flowing with sin. We don’t like to talk about sin. It makes us feel uncomfortable, forcing us to own up to our imperfections. While I could attempt to list every sin in my life that would drip from the confines of the rim of Jesus’ cup, naming my sin is only the first step…turning from it is vital.
In between the naming and the turning, something significant happened: Friday. Before I could begin to turn away from everything that keeps me from living a full life in God, Jesus had to hold my sin within his grip and put it to death, poured out once and for all on a sinner’s cross. Every sin is an idol that keeps me from turning toward God.
The idol of discontentment? Its on the cross.
The idol of pride? Its on the cross.
The idol of bitterness? Its on the cross.
The idol of anger? Its on the cross.
Jesus drank your cup. God didn’t take the cup from him. He drank it. Every last drop of stomach lurching sin. It is finished.
And it killed him.
After three days, three days of completion, the task was done. He washed your cup clean and handed it back to you without a smell or visible remnant of what was once there.
God didn’t take the cup because He wanted it returned to you empty, ready for a new life and a fresh start. Before Resurrection Sunday, however it will look for you this year, hold the cup of your sin. Is it still full to overflowing? God’s son, Jesus, emptied it on the cross, for you. His grace gave us a gift we do not deserve, a clean and empty cup, ready to be filled with Jesus, and Jesus alone.
How sweet the taste.
If you have never prayed to acknowledge your sin and allow God to guide your life every day, go to the page “Steps to Salvation” in the menu.