Jesus’ Two Natures (2 of 2)

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(Continued from yesterday)

What caused His distress and trouble? What made Him grieved to the point of death, such that His sweat became like drops of blood? The text clearly pointed to “this cup”. Jesus already referred to this “cup” prior to Gethsemane, so it wasn’t something He didn’t know about:

Mt 20:22-23a But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; …
• Mk 10:38-39 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.

He referred to it again during His arrest:
Jn 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

What is this cup? It is not death because Jesus prophesied about His death quite some time ago. He was not afraid of dying. The cup is a well-known figure of the wrath and judgment of God in the OT, called “the cup of His fury” or “the cup of trembling”, poured out on His enemy:

Isa 51:17 Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk at the hand of the LORD The cup of His fury; You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, And drained it out.
• Isa 51:22 Thus says your Lord, The LORD and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: “See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it.
• Jer 25:15 For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it.

We as sinners are to drink of God’s cup of fury, but Jesus who knew no sin took our sins upon Himself and became sin on our behalf. He drank our cup i.e. took our punishment so that we do not have to drink it:
2 Co 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The agony was not due to fear of pain that He was about to suffer from crucifixion, the most cruel form of torture invented by men, as He endured that with joy:

Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It was due to the weight of the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:2) crushing down on Him. Yet throughout His agony His words were “not as I will, but as You will”. He submitted to the Father’s will. He did not shrink back as a result of His human nature. There was no struggle between the two natures, as His humanity was submissive to His deity. That’s my opinion.

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Jesus’ Two Natures (1 of 2)

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Q. All Christians should have experienced what Paul felt regarding the struggle between the two laws inside him (Rom 7:21-23). Some say that Jesus appeared to be well aware of His Dual Nature, e.g. Satan repeatedly reminded Him as Son of God in the temptation, but He refused to perform miracles and willingly subjected Himself to the trial as a man. Another example is when Nathaniel affirmed Him as the “Son of God”, He replied using the term “Son of Man” (Jn 1:49, 50). Hence the conclusion is Jesus’ Dual Nature is in perfect harmony, so unlike Paul and us, there is no struggle. Is this true? How about His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane?

A. Paul’s struggles and ours are between the sinful nature (Rom 7:18, 25), the old self (Rom 6:6; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9) and the new self (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10). Jesus had no struggle as He does not have a sin nature by virtue of His Virgin Birth. In theology the union of Christ’s two natures, namely His divinity and His humanity in one substance, is called the hypostatic union. He is 100% God and 100% man.

Your question reminded me of a very controversial movie years ago, “The Last Temptation of Christ“, which depicted a very human Jesus struggling with his self-identity. The film, based on a novel, showed Jesus to be uncertain of his role, and suffered internal conflicts between his being called by God and his human desires. Nothing is further from the truth, as the Gospels indicate that He was never in doubt as to who He was, even at the age of 12 when His parents lost Him in the Temple:
Lk 2:49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Then what about His agony in Gethsemane? Let’s examine what the Bible says. His agony is recorded in all 3 Synoptic Gospels:

Mt 26:38-39, 42 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” … He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
• Mk 14:33-36 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
• Lk 22:42-44 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

(To be continued)