Just this morning, John 1:18 struck me afresh:
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
Throughout eternity past (which is a mind-blowing concept, is it not?), the Son was comfortably settled in the Father’s bosom. He left the safety, the warm security and fellowship of the Father to begin His journey of suffering.
Jesus stepped out of the glorious heavenlies to enter our grimy, sin-saturated realm.
And on the darkest night, the Son experienced loneliness beyond what you or I could comprehend as He entered the garden of Gethsemane to prepare for the final leg of His journey. As the Son looked long and deep into the cup He would take, the full realization of that drink gave Him pause for the first time since His face was set like a flint to the cross:
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Have you ever taken time to really consider the implications of drinking the contents of that cup?
What was in that cup?
“We know what was in the cup. All its contents would have been otherwise measured out to us by divine justice on account of sin. In the cup was the entire curse of the inviolable law, all the horrors of conscious guilt, all the terrors of Satan’s fiercest temptations, and all the sufferings which can befall both body and soul. It contained likewise the dreadful ingredients of abandonment by God, infernal agony, and a bloody death, to which the curse was attached—all to be endured while surrounded by the powers of darkness.”1
All of its contents would have been ours, if Jesus had not taken that cup.
He could’ve remained in heaven, could’ve rejected the cup, could’ve left us in our sin, but instead, He left heaven to embark on a rescue mission.
Why would Jesus make such a journey?
Bottom line—Love. He obeys the Father’s plan because He loves the Father. He rescues us because of love. Love for the Father and love for us.
What am I doing on my journey today? Am I embracing comfort? Do I want to stay snuggled in a cozy bed of ease rather than make hard choices of obedience?
I’m praying that I remember the “cup” that Jesus drank from the next time I’m tempted to linger in my comfort zone rather than respond in obedience to His call to “Come and follow . . .”
The next time I have the opportunity to make hard choices that require self-sacrifice, I pray that I will die to self and embrace His calling and truly follow the example of the One whose journey of suffering secured my eternal comfort.
1 F. W. Krummacher, The Suffering Savior (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2004), 139.