The Bitter Cup
"But Jesus answered by saying to them, 'You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?'” Matthew 20:22
Have you ever felt betrayed by someone? Has anyone done something that betrayed your trust?
When I consider the chapters in the Bible that describe Jesus’ crucifixion, I find them difficult to read. How can a loving Father purpose for His only Son, His Son who did not have any sin at all, to be ridiculed, put on trial for things He never did, and die the most painful death imaginable? Was there no other way? Couldn’t God waive His mighty hand and make people’s sin go away?
But, in order for God to remain true to His character, He needed to put Himself in our place. Jesus was the spotless lamb who took away the sins of the world. (1 Peter 1:19)
"He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, 'My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.'” Matthew 26:39
Although Jesus drank the bitter cup from His Father, He remained blameless. He did not become hardened or bitter. The bitter cup Jesus drank led to His purpose being fulfilled.
I think a part of “carrying the cross” in our lives may be experiencing the bitter cup, no matter how unjust it may be. We may not be crucified on a cross or die a martyr. But, we will experience things in life that aren’t fair and we will experience betrayal. Part of the Christian walk is dying to ourselves and remaining pure and blameless toward God in the midst of these situations.
Have you ever dealt with a “bitter cup” in your life? May God find you blameless in the midst of these situations, and may He fulfill His ultimate purpose in your life.