Thursday, September 28, 2023

Jesus’ Cup (1)

Jesus coming to live on earth as a human was a huge risk, as Adam and Eve had surrendered their authority over the earth to the spiritual powers of evil. Becoming a human made him vulnerable to spiritual attack. The only thing that kept him safe was his perfect life. If he had sinned, even just once, they would have been able to get at him, just like they attack every other human on earth.

However, Jesus didn’t sin, so the powers of evil had to leave him alone. They had stirred up Herod to try and murder Jesus when he was an infant, but they did not have authority, to touch him, so the Holy Spirit kept him safe. Everything changed when Jesus agreed to drink the cup that he had come to drink. Jesus agonised over this in Gethsemane Garden, but he submitted to his Father’s will and agreed to drink this terrible cup.

Taking on Sin
The cup that Jesus agreed to drink was not just obeying the Father, as is often suggested. The cup he drank was the wrath of the spiritual powers of evil, which came on him because he agreed to carry all the sins of all the people in the past, present and future who will put their trust in him. Paul explained,

He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21).
In the garden, Jesus agreed to complete his work by taking on the sins of everyone who would put their trust in him. This committed him to drinking the cup of wrath that the spiritual powers of evil would inflict on him.

Taking on the sins of other people changed everything. Once he had taken our sin on himself and became sin, his spiritual protection was gone, and the spiritual powers of evil had authority to attack him. They hated him and were scared of him, so they attacked him with vengeance. This is why the events leading up to the cross were so terrible.

The New Testament describes the physical side of his experience, but the spiritual side was probably far more vile. Thousands of spirits had fallen from grace, but a few had become really vicious, violent and destructive. I presume that the most ferocious and hideous spirits attacked Jesus when he agreed to take on our sins. He drank the cup of their wrath. When the Jewish leaders accused him and beat him, the spiritual powers of evil were there, stirring them along. When the crowd called for him to be crucified, the spiritual powers of evil were winding them up. When Pilate surrendered him to the soldier to be beaten and crucified, the spiritual powers of evil were encouraging them to be brutal and aggressive.

The Holy Spirit was powerless to protect Jesus because he had become a sinner for us, and the spiritual powers of evil had authority on earth to attack sinners. Thousands of people in Jerusalem and Galilee had been healed and blessed by Jesus. If they had gathered in Jerusalem around Caiaphas’s house and then Pilate’s palace and called for Jesus to be released, Pilate would have been scared and intervened to calm the situation, as was done when Paul was arrested (Acts 22:23-25). Roman governors did not want to be embarrassed by riots. However, the Holy Spirit did not gather Jews supporting Jesus or legions of angels to protect him because he had agreed to drink the cup of human sin.

No comments: