The Cup, the Kiss, and the Kingdom

Text Free Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.  How many times have we reflected upon or claimed that verse over our own lives?  How many are the troubles we have endured when we pull this promise out of the pocket of Scripture to reassure our hearts during tumultuous times?

And, my friend, why would we not?  This, as with too many promises to name, support us through the many difficult situations we face.  They fill our hearts with a hope that we may not physically be able to see, yet through faith in Him, our faith in God’s promises let us know our hope is not without a firm foundation.  Our hope has its source in One.

One who never fails.  One who will not suffer one jot or tittle to fall without the performance of what was written and hoped for, Matthew 5:18.

Our hope is in Him who took it all upon His person that He might secure it all for our person.

The cup would not go down like sweet juice, Matthew 26:42.  It was filled with bitterness.  It was filled with hurt.  It was filled with wrath.  It was filled with the sin of humanity.  Jesus Christ would drink every drop, leaving no remnant of moisture behind in the cup, for it was for complete salvation – it was to be the complete offering He has come to this moment in time.

Our Lord did not forsake the cup that was given to Him.  He drained its contents upon His very life, counting God’s will to be higher, determining the Father’s will to be accomplished above all.

The drowsy disciples saw Him praying.  They feel the earnestness of His resolve and soul.  Even the three closest to Him still could not wrap their heads around the contents of that cup He drank.  So, they slept.

Nevertheless, He submits wholly to emptying its fullness upon His life.

There was one who cared not about the suffering in the cup He drank.  This one’s focus was on selfish gain.  Going to the private place where Jesus shared close companionship with His disciples, a place usually of respite has now become a place of betrayal and a kiss would be the telling sign.

“Hail, master,” he spoke as if this were an ordinary day of greeting.  As if subterfuge was not in his heart, Matthew 26:49.

He made his deal.  The silver jingled in his pockets as he embraced the One who could give him riches in glory untold, Matthew 26:14-16.

“Friend, wherefore art thou come?” Jesus questioned, Matthew 26:50.  Both of these men have arrived at this place in the garden at this point in history.  Each is there though to fulfill very different purposes.  Judas has come in selfishness.  Jesus has come in selflessness.

Jesus has come to “seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10.  He has come to this point in time to “give his life a ransom for many” Mark 10:45.  Their reasons for being there on that night are as vastly separated as heaven and hell.  Judas wants to finance an earthly kingdom or himself.  Jesus Christ has come to build a Kingdom not made with hands, 2 Corinthians 5:1.

To His disciples, He often taught on the nearness of the kingdom of God (Matthew 10:7; Mark 1:15).  Parables were told to give those who would listen, not just with their ears, but with their hearts, a clearer glimpse into who would be in that kingdom and what it would be like (Matthew 13:24-53; Luke 18:16).

Securing souls for the Kingdom, and giving mankind a fighting chance, was the reason for this pivotal moment in this garden of conflict.

This conflict that brought so much pain to total innocence was not without purpose.  As horrible as this night appeared, and as horrific the events which followed would be, Jesus knew that God would work something good, even out of this evil.  It was “for the joy that was set before him [He, Jesus] endured the cross. . .” Hebrews 12:2.

Christ had many joys to look forward to when this was all over, but one of His greatest joys, I believe, is to see the Kingdom full of believing saints.  Hearts, who in their lifetime, believed and surrendered, will pass through those heavenly gates.

Jesus did not come to earth for Himself.  He did not go before multitudes to convince them of a better way for Himself.  He did not climb Calvary’s cross and submit to death for Himself.

No.  No.  A thousand times, NO!  But for you.  For me.  For us, He became “the way, the truth, and the light” John 14:6.  For people such as us, He was the greatest gift of love manifested, John 3:16.

He became sin that we might be freed from sin, (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 9:28).  He became our precious Lamb of God, 1 Corinthians 5:7.

The cup that was filled with wrath opened the gate for forgiveness and restoration.  The kiss of betrayal put in motion the events that led to the cross.  And it is at the cross, you will find the Key to the Kingdom.

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