Jesus was as much a man as though never God, but He was always and ever the Son of God utterly, completely, totally, every moment submitted to the will of God and the task of bringing back a lost world to His Father. There was never a split second when that was not true not a billionth of a second. He was the Good Shepherd eager, willing, committed to giving His life for the sheep. The manner of His impending death did not phase Him in the least, nor did the duration of His agonies. It mattered not to Him whether the agonies of the cross would last three hours, three days, or the full length of a human life span, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY” (Mark 10:45). “Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN, AND I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT AGAIN. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18). That was one cup Jesus did not need to ask the Father to remove from Him. He had long before received from the Father the final say in that matter. He could go through with Calvary or decline the cross. It was His call alone.
The word “cup” was a Hebrew idiom much like our English use of such words as “lot” or “portion.” Jesus used that term to refer to two different events in His life. When using it in reference to Calvary, He said, “Shall I not drink it?” (See Jon 18″11). When using this word “cup” in reference to His betrayal and the loss of one of His beloved apostles, He asked the Father to remove it from Him if at all possible.
Additional light, piling scripture upon scripture, linking text with text, will not effect spiritual blindness. Once one has bought into and embraced spiritual error in any area they will generally hold on to that error much like a dog will clench its teeth onto the rag you are trying to pull from its mouth. That is why a Mormon lives and dies a Mormon, a Roman Catholic lives and dies a Roman Catholic, and the Amish live and die Amish. They just will not let go of their spiritual error. They have too many who agree with them. They have their favorite spiritual leaders who supports them in their viewpoint. Plain and clear scriptures can no longer illuminate their minds if they ever did at all. In at least that one area they are indeed blind, and are generally blind in many other areas as well.
Do you know how many times Jesus Christ is called “the Lamb” in the Book of Revelation alone? Twenty-nine times! When Jesus first appeared beside the Jordan River where John was baptizing, John, upon seeing Jesus could have referred to Him as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” or “the Messiah,” or “Immanuel,” or “the Alpha and Omega,” or “King of Kings,” or a host of other names or titles. But do you know what he called him? “Behold the Lamb of God…” (See John 1:29, 36). Of all born human, Jesus was the only man who was born TO DIE! That was His mission and that was His glory.
A friend and I watched a video of Kathryn Kuhlman, the reputed “faith healer” who was enthralling the gullible with her particular brand of “Christianity” a few decades ago. On this video, Ms. Kuhlman stated very dramatically that she was certain beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus did not want to die. The Muslim Jihadist longs to die. They will run toward a gunman firing at them instead of running in the opposite direction. (That’s exactly what the Boston bomber did!) A member of a Muslim militant group recently said: “The difference between Americans and Muslims is that the Americans want to live whereas we Muslims welcome death and embrace it!” Ms. Kuhlman was WRONG in her assessment of Jesus Christ just as she was wrong in several other areas of her teaching and spiritual instruction.
Jesus knew His death was unlike any other death any human had ever died. His death was a ransom to buy back a lost world. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY” (See Matthew 20:28). Did you catch that? Your Bible says Jesus came to give His life a ransom, TO DIE! Yes, Jesus came to earth, taking upon Himself human flesh, for the purpose of dying! That was His primary mission, His main objective, His cherished goal!
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same (that is, became human), that THROUGH DEATH (that is WHY He became human) He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels FOR THE SUFFERING OF DEATH, crowned with glory and honor that He by the grace of God should taste death (the second death, the death that pays the penalty for sin) for every man (dying for all the sins of mankind), for it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:9-10). This is but one of many scripture passages that state quite clearly that Jesus was born TO DIE – a death that would be the suffering of the second death FOR EVERY MAN, a death that would have the final result of bringing many sons and daughters to glory!
And notice that it says it was by the grace of God Jesus tasted death for every man. He considered Himself favored by the Father in being granted the supreme honor of bringing many sons to God by His sacrificial death on the cross, knowing that three days later He would be resurrected and shortly thereafter rejoin the Father in heaven. (Note the term “sons” of God in the scriptures when applied to humans always is inclusive of daughters, or females, also).
Again, “Wherefore when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering thou would not (or, did not really desire) BUT A (SACRIFICIAL) BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME'” (Hebrews 10:5). That is WHY, when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him at the Jordan River, He cried out, “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD!” Jesus Christ ever was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (See Revelation 13:8).
And again, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21). Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, knew that His shed blood would forever ratify the New Covenant, making millions, even billions, perfect. He knew also that He would be brought back from the dead by the power of the Father. To think that He would pray that the Father would remove this “cup,” this mission, from Him is absolutely ludicrous!
Jesus Christ was quite literally BORN TO DIE! In fact, Jesus birth was not the beginning of a life, but a transition, a transition from immortal to mortal, from spirit to flesh. When dealing with Jesus’ birth, we are dealing with something totally different from any other human birth. I repeat, Jesus was literally born to die – a Lamb separated for the slaughter!
Remember, Jesus Christ prophesied again and again throughout His earthly ministry that He most definitely would be killed only to rise again the third day. (See Luke 9:43-45 and Luke 18:31-34). Had he tried to evade the cross He would have proven Himself a false prophet! “While they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, ‘The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men, and they SHALL kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised again.’ And they were exceeding sorry” (Matthew 17:22-23). Do you really think your Lord for one moment entertained the idea of becoming a false prophet? If “take away this cup from me” translates to mean “save me from the cross,” then Jesus Christ DID pray that He would prefer to be a false prophet rather than to die for the sins of mankind! What a ludicrous thought! How satanic the idea, yet wholeheartedly believed and taught to others by many preachers – men and women who claim to be Christ’s true representatives.
Toward the close of World War 2 scores of Japanese pilots volunteered eagerly to die. They wanted to die for the emperor as Kamikaze pilots. Are we to believe untold numbers of Muslims and scores of Japanese eagerly want to die for emperor and Allah, but Jesus did not want to die to save mankind? Brethren, we must let the Word of God speak in these matters and glean our beliefs solely from Holy Writ and NOT from fellow human beings who can often be deceived and, thus, wrong. Our ways are not God’s ways. The “average” human doesn’t want to die, but Jesus was no average human.
“And as they did eat (the Passover meal),, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, ‘Take eat, this is my body. And He took the cup, and when He had GIVEN THANKS, He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said unto them, ‘THIS IS MY BLOOD of the New Testament (covenant), which is shed for many..” (See Mark 14:22-24). Note well, Jesus said, “This IS my blood” and GAVE THANKS! Jesus was glad to die as a ransom for man. He GAVE THANKS to God that He could shed His blood for a lost and dying world. And this just hours before Calvary! Jesus eagerly wanted to die! For, as the apostle Paul would later discover, it was through Calvary Jesus “made peace through the blood of His cross” and that “by Him” God the Father was able “to reconcile all things unto Himself…whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (See Colossians 1:20). Jesus warned that “He that loves his life shall lose it…” (See John 12:25). In looking to Calvary, Jesus said, “The hour is come that the Son of man SHOULD BE GLORIFIED!” (See John 12:23). Calvary was Jesus’ glory. He eagerly anticipated giving His life to buy back mankind from Satan’s grasp. In suffering death on the cross, Jesus was thereby “crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9). The prophets had long foretold “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (I Peter 1:11). God…raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory” (I Pewter 1:21).
Our Lord knew that through the cross He would forever triumph over all the powers of darkness and put them to an open shame. Through the cross He would utterly spoil principalities and powers that had been assaulting His Father’s kingdom for ages! (See Colossians 2:15).
“Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (authority) to lay it down, and I have power (Greek, “authority”) to take it again (or change His mind and NOT submit to death at the hands of the Jews and Romans). This commandment have I received of my Father” (See John 10:17-18). The cross was Jesus’ decision alone. He says He did not need to ask the Father to spare His life, to remove THAT “cup” from Him. He, Himself, had the authority to continue to the cross or to decline that glory. The “cup” He prayed would be removed from Him was NOT Calvary. Read your Bible. The “cup” that Jesus definitely did NOT want to drink was the bitter cup of having one of His own hand-picked apostles betray Him into the hands of sinners.
Jesus knew the cross was not a tragic end to His life: “Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…But He spoke of the temple of His body” (John 2:19,21). Jesus said, “Go ahead and kill me. I’ll Just come back to life and thereby open the gates for all mankind to inherit eternal life!!”
Anyone who says Jesus Christ tried to avoid the cross doesn’t know his or her Bible as well as they should. Jesus Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (See Revelation 13:8). Jesus made plans to die the moment Eve extended her hand to pluck the forbidden fruit. And it was said of Him, “the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up (consumed Him, His interest, His all)” (See John 2:17). Jesus zealously desired to redeem us from the enemy’s hands and present us to His Father as a sweet smelling offering.
If one will read closely the closing chapters of each gospel account, they will see that Jesus uses the term “cup” to refer to TWO different events, one being the cross, the other being betrayal by an apostle. (Judas is called an apostle in Matthew 10:1-4). The term “cup” was a Hebrew idiom much like our using the term “lot.” It was Christ’s lot to die on the cross – something He welcomed. It was also Christ’s lot to be betrayed by one of His own trained and lovingly nurtured disciples – something He shrank from and desired earnestly to see changed if possible.
Any suggestion to avoid the cross was seen as utterly satanic by Jesus Christ! Notice: “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples how that He MUST go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, AND BE KILLED, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.’ But He turned, and said unto Peter, ‘GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN: THOU ART AN OFFENSE UNTO ME, for thou savourest not (understand not) the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (See Matthew 16:21-23).
Had Jesus Christ tried to escape the cross He would have proven Himself a hypocrite. Howso? Because He said again and again, He that takes not his cross and follows after me (and my taking my cross), is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). Are we to believe the example He himself set was one of reluctance and hesitation? Again, “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘If any man will come after me (be my follower), let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me!” (Matthew 16:24).
To even think the “cup” or “lot” Jesus desired to be removed from Him was the cross is ludicrous in the extreme – even a satanically inspired thought. Any time such a thought crosses your mind you need to rebuke Satan instantly and put it out of your mind, so clearly reads the Word of God. Yet how many pastors preach from the pulpit that Jesus Christ did exactly that. Satan’s powers of deception are staggering.
When the mother of James and John asked that her two sons be granted the right and left hand seats beside Jesus when He inaugurated His kingdom rule, which she thought to be imminent, Jesus answered and said to them, “You know not what you ask (as they were unwittingly asking to be crucified on his left and right hand). Are you able to drink of the cup THAT I SHALL DRINK OF, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They said unto Him, ‘We are able’ (again not realizing what this implied). And He said unto them, ‘You shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand, and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father'” (See Matthew 20:20-23). And just a few verses later we read these words: “the Son of Man came not be ministered unto, but to minister, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY’ (verse 28). Jesus Himself said He came to earth TO DIE!
When one says the cup Jesus Christ prayed would be removed from Him was the cross they are overlooking a plethora of scriptures scattered throughout the entirety of the Word of God. (Pause and read the entirety of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah at this point before reading any further). And worse, they are as much as saying Jesus Christ prayed that the Father would make Him a false prophet, as He had prophesied again and again that He would die and die on the cross! Think about that for a moment. No wonder scripture pointedly says any suggestion to avoid the cross was of satanic origin.
A mere seventy-two hours from the cross Jesus told His disciples, ‘The Son of man goes as it is written of Him, but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had never been born” (See Matthew 26:24) That was the bitter cup Jesus Christ did not want to drink. He knew the horrible fate that awaited Judas should he go ahead with his betrayal. Jesus knew that Judas’ offense was not merely the crime of the century, it was the greatest sin ever committed by a human being, a sin so great it would have been better if Judas had never even been born! Jesus was not willing that ANY should perish, especially the greatest sinner of them all. He desperately wanted Judas to rethink his course and come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9) Jesus was very good at saving demon possessed men and women, regardless of whether they were possessed by seven demons, such as Mary Magdalene (see Luke 8:2), or a legion (thousands) of demons, such as the demented man who dwelled in the tombs (see Luke 8:30).
“Jesus knew from the beginning..who should betray Him” (John 6:64), and He worked long and hard to prompt Judas to rethink his course even appointing him treasurer for the twelve, perhaps to foster honesty in his heart. (See John 12:6 and John 13:29). He “began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy” (Mark 1`4:33) when He realized Judas was dead set on his course of destruction. Rising from prayer, Jesus then urged Peter, James and John to pray, too, lest they enter into temptation, like Judas. Subsequent events proved that Peter was desperately needed to pray for divine strength to face what lay immediately ahead. (See Mark 14:33-38, 66-72).
Please read carefully Luke 22, verses 14 through 21. Note well that “He (Jesus) sat down and THE TWELVE APOSTLES (Judas included) with Him. And He said UNTO THEM (the twelve, Judas included), “‘With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…’ And He took the cup and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves (Judas included)’…and He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for YOU (Judas included). This do in remembrance of me.’ Likewise also the cup after supper saying, ‘This cup is the new testament (covenant) in my blood, which is shed for YOU (for you twelve and all others, Judas included), but, behold, the hand of him that betrays me is with me on the table (partaking of this bread and cup).”
Jesus died for Judas as fully as for John and James and all others. He, therefore, longed to see Judas repent with life-changing godly sorrow and take full advantage of the sacrificial death He was about to die on Calvary. Judas failure to do so was the bitter cup Jesus did not want to drink, not even a tiny sip.
When in the Garden of Gethsemane the temple officers came to arrest Him and Peter tried to prevent His arrest by lopping off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus said, “Put up again your sword into his place…Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently (instantly) give me more than twelve legions (72,000) angels, but how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?” (See Matthew 26:51-54). Jesus did not need to pray three times for THAT cup to be removed. One small cry, “Father, save me” and tens of thousands of angels would have instantly appeared on the scene preventing any harm coming to Him. Jesus KNEW and had said before “the scriptures MUST be fulfilled.” Though it might have been possible for Him to be delivered into the hands of the enemy by some other personage than Judas, there could be no escaping the cross if scripture prophecy was to find fulfillment. No scripture prophesied that His betrayer must be one of the apostles – only a familiar friend.
Even on the cross when they tried to give Him a stupefying mixture of vinegar and gall to ease His pain and torment, “when He tasted thereof, He would not drink.” (See Matthew 27:34). Gall, a product of the opium poppy, acted as an anesthetic, dulling the pain of crucifixion. Not only could there be no evading of the cross, there could be no lessening of the pain and suffering! Our Lord demanded that His faculties remain sharp and clear throughout the entire ordeal of crucifixion. THAT is the Christ who died for YOU! God forgive those blinded ones who preach He tried to avoid the cross altogether.
On His final trip to Jerusalem, knowing He was going to the cross, scripture reveals “they were in the way going up to Jerusalem and Jesus went before them, and they were amazed” (See Mark 10:32-34). He boldly led the way and they were amazed as He had already prophesied of the fate that awaited Him on this final trip to the holy city. They were afraid and amazed that Jesus wasn’t. But our heavenly Father had not given His Son the Spirit of fear. (See 2 Timothy 1:7). “Perfect love casts out fear” (See I John 4:18), and Jesus Christ ever and always had perfect love for His Father, saying, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29).
Each and every time Jesus told a sinner, “Thy sins are forgiven,” He was confirming once more His death on the cross for without shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins. (See Hebrews 9:22). And, yes, it had to be HIS blood. Only the Creator’s life could suffice to atone for the sins of the whole world, the sins of all the ages. Jesus knew this to the core of His very being. I repeat, the cup He prayed to have removed from Him was NOT the cross! ANYONE who says or implies that it was is deceived. It doesn’t matter if he, or she, is a world-famed evangelist whose ministry is carried on a thousand radio and television stations. In that regard they are utterly and completely deceived.
“And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up (lifted upon the cross, resurrected and then to ascend back to the Father), HE STEDFASTLY SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM” (See Luke 9:51). He had long before counted the cost, and knew He had sufficient resources to finish His course. (See Luke 14:28). With the greatest eagerness your Savior hastened to Jerusalem and the cross. Never forget that.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he has sufficient to finish it?” (See Luke 14:28). I assure you Jesus Christ had counted the cost concerning Calvary, and I assure you He knew with every atom of His being that He had sufficient fortitude, commitment and faith to finish it. I pity the preacher who thinks otherwise. Even Jesus’ parables spoke of His sacrificial death and subsequent victory. (See Luke 10:9-19).
At the Last Supper Jesus told His disciples, “For I say unto you that this that is written MUST yet be accomplished in me, ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors,’ for the things concerning me have an end (and that end was to buy back a lost world)” (See Luke 22:37).
Following the Lord’s resurrection, Cleopas and another unnamed disciple are joined by Jesus Christ as they walk on the road to Emmaus and discuss the recent events that have transpired in Jerusalem. Overhearing their doubts and perplexities, Jesus says to them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (See Luke 24:13-27). Yes, ought not Christ to have suffered these things? He called them fools and hardheads (slow of heart) for not understanding this. Jesus would say the same to any who foolishly believes and/or teaches that the cup He prayed would be removed from Him was the cross!!
At the very outset of His ministry, Jesus had told His disciples, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread that I WILL GIVE is my flesh (His human body given as a sacrifice), WHICH I WILL GIVE FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD” (See John 6:51). Time and again Jesus prophesied that He would indeed die a sacrificial death on the cross. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep…Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (authority) to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment I have received of my Father” (See John 10:11, 15-18). Jesus did not need to ask the Father to remove this up from Him. He had already been given charge by the Father to go ahead with Calvary or decline it. And He was champing at the bit to get to the cross.
Less than a week away from the cross Jesus told Phillip and Andrew, “Verily, verily I say unto you, except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal…what shall I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour, but for this cause came I unto this hour (to DIE and provide eternal life to billions)” (See John 12:22-27).
No, my friend, the cup Jesus Christ wished to avoid was NOT the cross. He had come into the world to die for the sins of the world and thereby to present to the Father much fruit, bringing many sons and daughters to glory through the cross. The thing that troubled Him greatly was the loss of Judas and His being delivered into the hands of the enemy by an apostle. “He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you that one of you shall betray me” (See John 13:21).
Christ’s final words in the upper room before departing for the Garden of Gethsemane were “You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved me you would rejoice (not be sad), because I said I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass (before His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to the Father’s side), that when it comes to pass you might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you for the prince of the world comes and has nothing in me (no place whatsoever to sow a second thought, a doubt, a rethinking of His commitment to die for the sins of the world). But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” And He led the way to the garden and thus to the cross. (See John 14:28-31). “Jesus therefore, KNOWING ALL THINGS THAT SHOULD COME UPON HIM (the beating, the rejection, the cross), went forth (meeting the arresting temple officers), and said unto them ‘Whom seek ye?'” (See John 18:4). And when they said, “Jesus of Nazareth,” His immediate, unhesitating reply was “I am He!” (verse 5). “That’s me, boys, Let’s go!!!”
If one will but read slowly and carefully the text of Matthew 26, verses 36 through 46 along with the text of Mark 14, verse 32 through 42, they will see that the cup (also called the “hour”) that Jesus prayed would be removed from Him was His betrayal into the hands of sinners by Judas. That was His most bitter disappointment. “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name. Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12). That was the most bitter cup of all. The cup He so desired that He might not drink from – the loss of a hand-picked disciple.
In Mark’s account, we read, “And He went forward a little (ahead of His disciples), and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the HOUR might pass from Him” (Mark 14:15). What is troubling the Lamb of God so? He was eager to go to the cross and redeem mankind. After praying the third time that this “cup” pass from Him, He awakens His sleeping disciples telling them, “It is enough (or, you have had sufficient sleep) the HOUR is come (present tense), behold, the Son of Man IS BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF SINNERS” (See Mark 14:41). He is still MANY HOURS from the cross. What Jesus calls “the hour” in verse 35, He calls “the cup” in verse 36. The cup He is then made to drink is betrayal by an apostle into the hands of the Romans. (Remember, Judas is called an “apostle” in Matthew 10, verses 1 through 4).
Never forget that Jesus Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (See Revelation 13:8). Calvary had been a foregone conclusion for thousands and thousands of years. Even Satan understood that truth and tried his best to sway Jesus into reconsidering that long established decision, even using Peter to suggest He rethink Himself as to offering Himself as a sacrifice on the cross. He failed. Thank God and Jesus Christ – he failed!
Jesus may have been as much human as if He were never God during His earthly sojourn, but He was the most noble, most courageous, most unselfish, most caring, most loving human who ever lived or ever will live. You detract from His glory when you say He didn’t want to die on the cross. That was His finest hour!
I repeat, when Jesus said that Satan had NOTHING in Him, He meant it: no place for fear, no place for doubts, no place for second thoughts. And, when on the cross, at the ninth and final hour of His agonies Jesus Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,” it was due to the fact that at that moment in time He, who knew no sin, BECAME SIN for us! (See Mark 15:34 and 2 Corinthians 5:21). “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Becoming sin for us at at that moment, our Lord was then separated from His Father. Jesus KNEW this was what sin would do before ever going to the cross, causing even Him to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But those were not the final words spoken from the cross. These were: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ and having said thus, He gave up the ghost (Greek, epneo, pronounced ek-PNEH’-o, meaning “to expire”).”
That’s what Jesus did for YOU and me. Think about it. The realization of what Jesus did for YOU ought to prompt you to cry out with Thomas, “My Lord, and my God!” It ought to foster in your heart, mind and soul a vehement desire to learn more and more about Him and just what He expects of those whom He has redeemed. There is a Christian song that has a verse wherein it is stated, “He paid much too high a price.” The song goes on to say that if we give Jesus Christ only token obedience and devotion, then He, indeed, did pay much too high a price. Jesus Christ counted the cost…….have YOU?
When the Spirit wishes to commune with me He always and ever awakens me at 3:00 a.m. It matters not whether I have been asleep for an hour or several hours. It doesn’t matter if I am in my deepest sleep cycle at that moment. When the Spirit wishes to commune with my mind, I awaken at that hour and upon awaking I am just that – totally awake, no yawning, no sleepy-eyed inability to think clearly, but as wide awake as though I had slept a solid eight hours and had arisen from bed hours before.
Jesus was as much a man as though never God, but He was always and ever the Son of God utterly, completely, totally, every moment submitted to the will of God and the task of bringing back a lost world to His Father. There was never a split second when that was not true – not a billionth of a second.
He was the Good Shepherd, eager, willing, committed to giving His life for the sheep. The manner of His impending death did not phase Him in the least, nor did the duration of His agonies. It mattered not to Him whether the agonies of the cross would last three hours, three days, or three thousand years: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18). That was one cup He did not have to ask the Father to remove. He had long before received from the Father the final say in that matter. He could go through with Calvary or decline the cross. It was His call alone.
The word “cup” was a Hebrew idiom much like our English use of such words as “lot” or “portion.” Jesus used that term to refer to two different events in his life. When using it in reference to Calvary, He said, “Shall I not drink it?” When using it in reference to His betrayal and the loss of one of His beloved apostles, He asked the Father to remove it from Him if at all possible.
Additional light, piling scripture upon scripture, will not effect spiritual blindness. Once one has bought into and embraced spiritual error in any area they will generally hold on to that error much like a dog will clench its teeth onto the rag you are trying to pull from its mouth. That is why a Baptist lives and dies a Baptist, a Pentecostal lives and dies a Pentecostal, and the Amish live and die Amish. They will not let go of their spiritual error. They have too many who agree with them. They have heard their “favorite” preacher preach a fiery sermon in support of their viewpoint. Plain and clear scriptures can no longer illuminate their minds. In at least that one area they are indeed blind.
Our Lord said, “One sows and another reaps.” I am a sower of seed. The dozens of Bible study articles that I write and send forth across the United States and to Chile, Peru and England is but the sowing of seed. I do not concern myself with a harvest. The harvest is in God’s hands. I can only do what my Master and Lord has given me to do. And I had better do it. I have been duly warned that to whom much is given much is required. This is not the only morning I have arisen at such an early hour and set down at this keypad to type a letter or an article. It occurs quite frequently, and I learned several years ago to rise and work when the Lord sends forth the summons to awake and hasten to the fields.
Anytime a believer permits any manner of sin or disobedience to remain in their life, they then give place to the devil, and Satan never misses an opportunity to do his work of tempting and/or deceiving. One cannot have one foot in the kingdom of God and one foot still in the world. The stretch is too great, the gulf too wide. No man can serve both God and his own flesh for no man can serve two masters – not when one of the masters requires it all. Jesus warned, “If a man forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.” For Jesus knew a holding on to anything ungodly would always and ever give place to the devil and that the devil never missed a beat in thwarting the will of God in a human life.
On Christmas Day 2011 I came as close to dying as I have ever come in my entire life. For three days I could not eat or drink, and toward the close of the third day I was having the greatest difficulty even breathing. That is when an ambulance was called and I was rushed to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. At that time I was diagnosed with COPD, chronic bronchitis and gastric reflux. And that is when I surrendered EVERYTHING to God, telling Him, “You have it all and you have it for all time.” Within 72 hours I was healed of all three illnesses, none of which have ever returned. And that is when the Spirit began awaking me at 3:00 a.m. from time to time, sometimes several days in succession and sometimes weeks apart. But upon awaking me, scriptures flooded my mind, linked together in a cohesive fashion and it was as though someone was preaching inside my head and commanding me to arise, open my Bible and read, and then write, write, write. God help you to understand is my prayer.
I trust that you have read carefully the preceding article on the subject “The Cup Was Not The Cross.” Our Lord has been robbed of great glory for a long, long time by many, many preachers the devil has deceived into thinking He tried to evade Calvary if at all possible. Calvary WAS horrible, but our Lord’s commitment to His divine mission was such that He would have endured a thousand Calvarys to win back a lost world to His Father and His God! (See John 20:17; Revelation 3:12, etc.)
Christ’s Servant (Galatians 1:10),
Donald Wiley, 902 Pleasant Court, Brookville, OH 45309 Tel. No. (937) 270-5681