Summary: As we think on these things, there are two images that I want you to put your mind on today. One is a cup; the other is a clock.
Opening Statement: Julius Caesar said “It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” And Jesus Christ, the Son of God knew that he would offer up the supreme sacrifice for the world and He would have to do that patiently.
Explanation: As we think on these things, there are two images that I want you to put your mind on today.
One is a cup; the other is a clock. Jesus figuratively referred to “a cup” in His Gethsemane prayer. In the OT, the cup was linked to God’s wrath (Is.51:17). In His humanity, He did not want to drink that cup. That cup involved extreme suffering. It involved feeling the separation from the Father as Jesus was made sin in our behalf. Nevertheless, regardless of how bitter it might be, Jesus surrendered to God’s will. He drank the cup!
While Matthew, Mark, Luke and John use the term “cup” to refer to Jesus’ sufferings, John also used the “hour” motif or the “clock” to express the anticipation of a time in Christ’s life when suffering and pain would have to be endured and separation from the Father would have be experienced. The clock or hour motif serves to remind us that God is not only involved in certain events, but that he also orders their timing.
The Hour – An Allusion to Jesus’ Passion
Scripture References in John’s Gospel
Jesus’ hour has not yet come.
2:4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My hour has not yet come.”7:30 So then they tried to seize Jesus, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.8:20 (Jesus spoke these words near the offering box while he was teaching in the temple courts. No one seized him because his hour had not yet come.)
Jesus’ hour is coming
4:21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.5:28 “Do not be amazed at this, because an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice…
Jesus’ hour has arrived
12:23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.13:1 Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end.17:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you…
Conclusion: These two motifs helps to set up the end of the Gospel stories. In fact, all of the Gospels have been described as “passion stories with extended introductions.” One of the most moving parts of this passion story of Christ is the time in the Garden of Gethsemane when in desperation Jesus turned to His Father in prayer.
Background: For three years he had taught. For three years he had healed. For three years he had tried to make a difference in his world and to point people to his Father. And now it had come down to this. One of his followers had already cut a deal with the enemies and he knew deep within his heart that this was already the beginning of the end.