(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.