Banner of Praise Ministries
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Rev. Dr. Levi Howard Wright, Pastor & Founder
WHAT WAS IN THE CUP?
St. Mark 14:34-36
"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
When Judas left the upper room, no one except he and Jesus knew the real reason why. The disciples thought it was nothing unusual, for as the Scripture explain, ¡°they thought that he went to buy additional preparations for the Passover, or else, because of the custom of the Passover, that he might have gone to make an offering unto the poor.
The disciples were not sensitive to the depth of grief that Jesus was going through. They mistook the taste of the bitter herbs and the solemnness and sacredness of the hour as being accountable for the heavy burden and exceeding great sorrow that was upon the Lord¡¯s soul.
Jesus then led the disciples out of the house where they had been breaking bread together, across the brook of Kedron, and up the slope of the Mount of Olives and into the Garden of Gethsemane.
As they walked the disciples seemed to sense an unusual heaviness about the Lord Jesus Christ.
They said nothing and He offered nothing. They were not sure where He was going, but they knew that oftentimes He would retire to the place of prayer in the Mount of Olives for communion with His Father.
✞Even as the Psalmist David cried out in Psalm 61:2 "When my heart is over whelmed: led me to the rock that is higher than I".
Jesus sought refuge in this prayer-place near the city that was called Gethsemane.
➣ He and those who were closest to Him went inside the gate of the garden, eight of His disciples remained there, not so much to keep intruder out, for they were soon fallen asleep.
➣ The three who were closest to Him went a little farther, and He asked them to wait there. They had no part in the communion He was to have with His Father that night.
✞ The Scriptures says, that He went a stone’s throw farther and fell on His face.
The word "Gethsemane" means "an olives press". It was a place where picked olives were piled up and pressure was put on them to extract the oily juice. In this place, according to history and prophecy, the son of God, the Son of man, was to tread the winepress alone. (Isaiah 63:3)
Jesus did not come to the place of prayer as though, He would hide from death; But, He came rather that He might prepare for death.
1. When Jesus Looked Into The Cup He Was In The Present Of All Of The Principalities In This World ....
There are some things that we ought to know about Jesus’ prayer.
First of all, we ought to consider the principalities that He was facing.
➣ Satan had hounded Him from the very beginning. As soon as Jesus was identifed by John the Baptist and had left the baptismal waters of the Jordan River, He went into the wilderness for some forty days and nights.
Immediately the tempter came to Him with a series of temptations:
✞ First..... Satan made an appeal to His flesh..... because He was hungry: Satan said to Him, "Why do you not turn these stones into bread You can eat?" (St Luke 4:3)
He went on to say..... "Surely, if You Starve, if you die, You will fail in the great mission of God.
Therefore it ought to be alright that, You should use Your power in order to do this.
✞But, Jesus was not tempted to use His miracle-working power for such as this, and He said to Satan, "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God", Luke 4:4
✞ Secondly..... Jesus was taken upon a great mountain and faced with the temptation to accept from Satan the Kingdoms of the world....the easy way (St Luke 4:6-7).
✞ Then, placed on the pinnacle of the Temple itself, Satan challenged Him; "If thou be the Son of God cast thyself down from hence." The angels of God will rescue You. They will let no harm come to You. Still Jesus turned away from the tempter.
Now, as Jesus came to His final hours, all the forces of Hell were arrayed against Him.
➣ In the group who came that night to take Jesus was Judas, a traitorous friend.... the temple priests.... the religious leader of that day; they of all people should have been able to see that "a greater than Moses is He."
➣ But they did not know Him; they did not recognize Him. "He came unto Him own, and they recieved Him not." (John 1:11)
➣ Among this group was the Roman soldiers empowered to make an official arrest. At the sight of them, even His own disciples fled from them in fear.
The present powers of this world, the principalities of darkness...these were the things that Jesus had to face in the hour of His betrayal.
➣ Even among His own disciples there was indifference; already they had fallen asleep as He went alone to pray.
✞ When He came back and found them asleep, He said, "What, could you not pray with Me one hour?"
➣ Jesus went and prayed again, then came back and found them asleep again.
✞ No, word passed His lips this time, but the glance from His eyes met their eyes as they looked upon Him as they awaken. The Scripture say that they knew not what to say to Him. (Mark 14:40)
➣ At His dying hour Jesus had to face the indifference of the group.... the principalities of this world.... the powers of darkness.... all which cast their heavy shadows over His soul. Yes, this was His hour.
2. When Jesus Looked Into The Cup He Offered The Perfect Prayer........
When we look at Jesus’ prayer.... we have to call it a perfect prayer.
✞ He went alone, the Bible says, "A stone’s throw farther into the garden, just far enough so that He could not be heard by His disciples.
➣ Probably there were moments when He was praying loudly, and had the disciples been nearer enough they would have been able to grasp some of the words He was saying.
✞ Had the disciples heard His prayer, I believe they would have said as the Apostle Paul said, "I have heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Corinthians 12:4)
But, Jesus was all alone.... but close enough that they could see Him..... and close enough that they were needed by Him..... and might have had fellowship in His suffering and loneliness.
¢Ñ But ...... yet they fell and went to sleep.... leaving the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
My Brother and Sister often times great crises of life always seen to come to us when we are all alone.
The Bible has said that.... Sin will separate us from God ....... Yes... Sin always has its loneliness.
➣ But.... Because Jesus..... became sin for us.... He had to tread the winepress alone.
➣ There came a time when there was taken from Him that which has never been taken from us:
➣ As He treaded the winepress alone the..... presence and the consciousness of the presence of God had been taken away.
➣ As He treaded the winepress ...... He had to walk utterly alone, humanly speaking, with no one at His side and no one to comfort Him.
The disciples must had thought among themselves, after Jesus was buried in the tomb, that had they only been there by His side at the cross.
➣ They could have given Him a drink of water instead of bitter gall. Not only did they fall asleep on the Lord when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
➣ They were not even there at the cross when they crucified my Lord. Yes, Jesus He had to tread the winepress alone.
I know He would have appreciated their sympathetic human ministry. Even a handerchief when He came back from His place of prayer, would have been comforting, but He found them all asleep.
✞ The Bible says that as He prayed there came great drops, as of blood, from His body, which indicated that already the physical functions of His heart were affect. Jesus had come to die; already, He was treading the winepresss all alone.
As, He treaded the winepress all alone. He cried out "Father, let this cup pass from Me."
Jesus was not only shrinking from physical death.
✞ Surely He was not afraid of death, for Jesus had said to His disciples on one occasion...."fear not them which kill the body...but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the body and the soul in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
There is a natural, human recoil from physical death, and Jesus was living in a physical body.
As He treaded the winepress all alone He recognized that it was not death to die only in the physical body, but He said, "Father, let this cup pass from Me."
Many men have "looked inside of the Cup, so to speak, and wondered what were its ingredients, theologically.
Have you every wonder What Was In The Cup.... that cause Jesus, to recoil and cry out, "Father, let this Cup pass from Me."
➣ Was it a Cup of Sin?..... Was it a Cup of Despair..... or Was it a Cup of Betrayal?
What ever it was it cause Jesus to recoil from it in terror......
When Jesus Christ Looked Into The Cup...... He Saw Suffering and Death:
➣ Words could never express what Christ experienced.
➣ Words are just inadequate, it would be easier to use a syringe to drain an ocean than it would be to describe what Jesus felt when He looked into the Cup.
When Jesus Christ Looked Into The Cup ..... He Saw Mental and Emotional Agony:
The weight.... the pressure.... the anguish ..... the sorrow..... and excessive strain such as no man has ever experienced.
When Jesus Christ Looked Into The Cup.... He Saw the Images of Sin and the Evil Thoughts of.... all men everywhere.
➣ He saw His own chosen people the Jews..... Rejecting Him as the Messiah.
➣ He saw the Injustice and Condemnation of His Kangaroo Trial by the World’s Leaders, both Jew and Gentile... Religious and Civil plotting to take His life.
➣ He saw the Betrayal of Judas..... one of His very own Disciples who would betray Him with a Kiss,
➣ He saw the Desertion of all His chosen hand picked Disciples as they hide in the dark as the Roman Soldiers Arrested.
➣ He saw the Melt-Down of Peter whose name meant ¡°Rock¡± Cursing and Denying Him three times as the rooster crowed as he warmed himself by the enemies fire.
➣ He saw the Ridicule and Pain of being Scourged, Spit upon, Slapped, Cursed, Mocked, Crowned with thorns, Nailed to the cross, Speared in the side and Crucified and Killed.
When Jesus Christ Looked Into The Cup..... He saw Physical Death:
➣ He saw Himself walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death as the Sun refused to Shine.
➣ Imagine the Pain and Humiliation: the Perfect Man..... the Son of God, must have had felt having to die for the sins of the world.
✞ No wonder He "began to became sorrowful and very heavy!"
✞ No wonder He could say, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death."
✞ In some mysterious way, God made Christ to become sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21).
When Jesus Christ Looked into the Cup..... He Saw Spiritual Death .
First, When Jesus Christ looked into the Cup He knew what it was like to be without sin?
➣ He was made in the image of man and was fully man but, He was sinless.
➣ He lived as all men lived. He face all the trials and temptations that men face, yet He never sinned. He was without sin. He became the Perfect and Ideal Man all that God wants man to be.
He became the Pattern for all men.
✞"Though he was the only begotten Son of God ...... He suffered; and he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey God.¡± (Hebrews 5:8-9).
Second, When Jesus Christ looked into the Cup He knew what it was like to bear all the
sins of the world?
➣ In some mysterious way, God took all the sins of the world and laid the whole body of sin upon Christ.
➣ In some mysterious way, God made Christ to become sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21).
Yes.... Christ, as the Ideal Man..... became the Ideal Sin-Bearer.
When Jesus Looked Into the Cup He saw all the sins and all that sin causes.....
When He looked into the Cup He saw the ......... Darkness of Principalities.....
➣ Pollution trying....... to Defy Holiness
➣ Filthiness trying....... to Defying Sanctification
➣ Weight of Sin trying....... to Pull the World Down
➣ Pressure of our trials...... Trying to Break us Down
➣ Anxiety of Restless Nights....... Trying to Burden us Down
➣ Turmoil of our Troubles and Tribulations...... trying to keep us Awake at night
➣ Worry....... trying to Turns our Hair Gray
➣ Guilt Dragging....... us into Despair
➣ Conflict of Life....... Destroying our Joy
➣ Strife Destroying...... our Happiness
➣ Hatred Destroying...... our Peace
➣ Torment Destroying ....... our Patience
➣ Poison of False Teaching...... Destroying our Mind
➣ Corruption..... Destroying our Soul
➣ Confusion.... Destroying our Faith
➣ Jealousy...... Destroying our Unity
✞ "We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
✞ "In due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).
✞ "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3).
✞ "For God he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
✞ "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).
Third, When Jesus Christ looked into the Cup He saw what is it like to bear all the Judgment and Condemnation of Sin for all Mankind?
➣ When Jesus Christ looked into the Cup He saw, what it is like to be judged and condemned for all the sins ever committed?
➣ Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, suffered separation from God.
✞ The terrifying mystery of this hellish experience is seen in His cry upon the cross, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew 27:26-44.
When Jesus Christ looked into the Cup He saw all that was written in.... Romans chapter 1 verses 26-32
➣ He saw God giving mankind over to a reprobated mind and shameful lusts......
➣ He saw Women exchanged their natural relations for unnatural ones.
➣ He saw Men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
➣ He saw Men committed indecent acts with other men and incest with their own children.
➣ He saw Men not wanting to retain the knowledge of God, and he saw God giving them over to a reprobate mind, to do what they ought not to be doing.
➣ He saw Men become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, and greed and corruption.
➣ He saw Men full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
➣ He saw Men gossiping, slandering, lying, cheating, Hating God and being boastful;
➣ He saw Men invent ways of doing evil; they were disobeying their parents; they were senseless, they were faithless, they were heartless, and they were ruthless.
➣ He saw men who did not care about God and His Laws ..... Who knew God’s righteous decree and knew that those who disobeyed God deserve death, but they not only continue to do wrong ....... but also approve of those who practice doing wrong.
✞ But Jesus Christ.... He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
✞ Jesus Christ.... He redeemed us from the curse of the law, and He became a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).
✞ Jesus Christ.... suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).
There are times Oh, Lord, at least there ought to be times, when you and I in the silence of the midnight.
We ought to weep over our sins. Surely, Oh surely Jesus wept over the sins of the world when he looked into Cup.
➣ It was a "Bitter Cup" ..... for it contained the Pain of being Betrayed by a friend.
➣ It was a "Bitter Cup" for it contained the Pain of being Rejected by His own disciples.
➣ It was a "Bitter Cup".... for it contained the Pain of all Physical Suffering for Sin.
➣ It was a "Bitter Cup"... for it contained the Pain of Dying the Painful Death on the cross.
➣ It was difficult to drink from the "Bitter Cup"..... when you know it contained the sneers and the hisses of the crowd that cried out Crucify Him, Crucify Him.
➣ It is difficult to drink from the "Bitter Cup".... when you know that your body would be Exposed in a Humiliating Fashion.
➣ It is difficult to drink from the "Bitter Cup".... when you know that the scoffers will be shouting, "If you be the the King of the Jews, come now down from the cross and save yourself"
Oh when Jesus Looked into the "Bitter Cup" he knew what was in the Cup.
✞ And it caused Him to recoil and seek His Fathers’ divine will and say, ¡°O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.....(Matthew 26:39), ..but not my will but your will My Father.
Yes, Jesus became the great exchange for you and I and ..... He tread the winepress all alone, He became sin for us.
➣ Some of us have sinned so much.... but His bearing our sins have very little reaction on us.
➣ Jesus never knew sin.... He never touched sin..... He never even entertained the thought of sin.
✞ For Him to become sin for us was a great agony more that we can ever image. This is why He cried out, "O Father, if there is any way possible, let this Cup pass from Me.
✞ During His last dying hour as Jesus hung on the cross there came the very sacred moment when He said from the cross, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. (Luke 23:46)
John Mark is the only gospel writers who used the term, "Abba Father in Mark 14:36.
➣ Just as a child in the night, waking from a nightmare, and wraps his arms around their father and say, Daddy, Daddy save me!"
➣ Jesus with the dependency of a child, threw Himself into His father’s arm and said, "Father, into Thy hand I comment my Spirit.
The Lord’s hands is always the safest place to be.
In committing Himself to His Father’s will, Jesus triumphed. The last hurdle was past; the last test of Satan had been met. Jesus was the Victor when He declared, "Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit."
It has been well said that there are two gardens to consider: "The Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane."
➣ In the "Garden of Eden" Adam and Eve said, "Not Thy will, but mine our will be done!"
➣ In the "Garden of Gethsemane" Jesus prayed, "Not My will, but Thine will be done."
➣ It will make the whole difference when we are doing the Lord’s will.
An old preacher was preaching on the text where The Apostle Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ live in me. (Galatians 2:20)
And as he came to the climate of His message, he said, "Oh, why don’t we just hurry up and die! We all need to just hurry up and die to self and the world.
We all need to go into our very own Gethsemane of Prayer and come to know in our own experience, the perfect prayer that Jesus prayed. But. so many of us settle for so much less.
The Garden of Eden was a Garden of Death..... and the Garden of Gethsemane was a Garden of Life.
✞ The will of Jesus was the will of the Father,..... and the will of the Father was the will of the Son.
✞ He said, "I am come that they might have live, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
➣ We need to come to God and say, "Father, not my will, but Thy will be done.
➣ I want Thy will to be my will. I want your purpose to be my purpose.
➣ I want Christ to be my all and all in all things.
Amen, Amen, Amen