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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will,
but as you will.” Mathew 26:39

Permit me to digress a little bit away from the conventional interpretation of what really happened in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed; “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. . .” In his human nature, or better still, Jesus in his humanity was never for once afraid of physical death. In John 11:1, Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the life.” This means he himself is the author of life. Death cannot keep him in the grave as apostle Peter reiterated (Acts 2:22-24). Jesus clearly said I lay down my life on my own volition. No one takes it from me.

In Hebrew 5:7, we read that Jesus prayed with a loud voice to the Father who could save him from death, and he was heard. The question is if he was heard, why then would he have to die? The reason simply is, that this is not a matter of physical death but ‘spiritual death.’ Sin brings death. JESUS in his flesh never wanted to sin against his Father not just for once (John 6:38).

Of course, it again depends on which side of the pendulum you want to maintain—either he is capable of sinning or not able to sin. But the truth is, that the sinlessness of Jesus was not because he was divine. Jesus never overcomes sin using his resources as God, or else, he won’t be fit enough to be our example or our forerunner. It is like an angel who wanted to teach a man how to swim but uses his wing to fly over the pool. One will need to tell the angel to remove his wings, jump inside the pool and show us how to swim without the wings. In like manner, Jesus Christ was made exactly like us (human beings), and he was tempted exactly like us, yet he was without sin (Hebrew 2:17; 4:15).

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Come to think of it, Old Testament saints like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were never afraid of death through fire or through wild beasts. Why should we think Christ was afraid of physical death? All the martyrs we read about died happily; some sang as if they were dying for the name of Christ. They were not afraid of death.

To mention but a few, Peter demanded that he would be crucified on an ‘X’ cross turned upside down because he counted himself unworthy to die like his Savior. An octogenarian, Polycarp, refused to deny Jesus Christ. Some were burned alive on stakes, and their persecutors watched them singing melodious songs in the face of death. How would Jesus be afraid of physical death?

What then was the Cup Christ was talking about at Gethsemane? The Father and Son right from eternity past had never for once lost FELLOWSHIP. But as he was heading to the cross, the sins of the whole world would be laid upon him. Christ, who had no sin, God made him a sin—he was sin personified (2 Corinthians 5:21). When he carried our sins upon Himself on the Cross, the Father for the first time in eternity past and then, turned His face away from His Son because His eyes cannot behold iniquities. The Son cried out, “My Lord, Why had thou forsaken me.” Note the usage of the word ‘Lord’; Christ was standing before the Court of the Universe, where he was condemned guilty of sin (he had not committed).

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This cup of separation and breaking of fellowship for time being with the Father was the cup Christ had to drink. This cup of temporary REJECTION and separation with the father is the deepest agony Christ went through. Even though the agony that Christ went through is recorded to be the cruelest form of death in the history of mankind, this cup is never the matter of the beatings, the crown of thorns, the piercing sword by his side, the nails piercing through his hands and feet, and the physical death. Because of his love for us, Christ would choose to die for us a million times rather than being separated or broken fellowship with his Father. Note again, in the Garden of Eden, Adam made a decision that has a consequential effect on humanity. In the same way, Christ made a decision that has eternal purpose for humanity in the garden of Gethsemane. Adam bowed for the will of Satan and bring us damnation; Jesus went for the will of his Father to bring us salvation.
It is so pathetic today how many Christians have lost fellowship with God yet care little about this. Are you in fellowship with the Holy Spirit constantly?

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