He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 37: Drinking the Cup
What if you had a young child who was diagnosed with a rare blood disease? As the doctors tell you about it, they tell you that the disease is almost unheard of in children. Though they have a form of chemotherapy that could cleanse your child's blood and restore him to health, the drug is too strong for the child's undeveloped body to withstand the dose necessary to cure him. In other words, the cure would kill him before it healed him.
But there is a way around that, they say. They could administer the chemotherapy into your blood. Though it would make you deathly ill and possibly even kill you, the therapy could produce antigens in your blood that could then be transplanted to your child's body and cleanse him of the disease as well. Would you do it? Most parents wouldn't hesitate for a second.
Neither did God. This was his opportunity to destroy the power of sin and liberate those who had been captives to it all their lives. The onlookers at Golgotha that day only saw a man experiencing the agonizing death of crucifixion. They did not know that the sinless one had been made sin for them and that the physical pains of the cross only reflected in human terms what transpired in God's eternity.
It seems that the cup of wrath was lifted to his lips and Jesus drank of it fully, letting it eat away at sin itself. He drank it to the end letting wrath war against sin until sin succumbed to the power of God and was consumed in him. How can we even imagine the battle that ravaged his soul during those hours? We have glimpses of it certainly, but only that. Jesus not only entered the utter depths of the pain, darkness, shame, and anguish to which sin can drive humanity, but he also endured the full weight of God's being warring against that sin to its utter destruction.
The first we can relate to in part because we have all tasted of sin and its painful and destructive consequences. The latter we will never have to experience if we accept his death as our own. For he has already borne in himself what we could never have borne and survived. He endured such hostility against himself because he was committed to our freedom from the power of sin.
When I consider just how unfair it might have been for God to have created that tree in Eden that caused so much grief and pain, I only have to look at the cross. Why could he put that tree there? Because he had already determined that he would pay the greatest price for the stumbling block it would be for Adam and Eve. Even in giving us the freedom to trust him or trust ourselves, God already knew that he would suffer the most for that choice. Somehow to him, the glory of fellowship with his created ones outweighs any price he had to pay to experience it.
By enduring to the end, sin was fully conquered in him. Its spell over humanity was broken and no longer does anyone have to be consumed by sin itself, nor God's wrath against it. The antidote had not only worked in him, by doing so it had produced in his blood a fountain of life as well. Transfused into any person who desires it, his blood can cleanse us of sin and reunite us with God himself-fulfilling the dream that he had when he first decided to create man and woman and place them in the center of his creation.
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you" (Luke 22:20).
Only a few hours before as he shared a final meal with his disciples, Jesus spoke of the cup he would provide for us. Having drunk of the cup of wrath our sins deserved and having used that to condemn sin in sinful flesh, now he offers us a different cup. This cup is filled with his blood that has been purified and teems with life and grace. Now he invites you to come and drink of his cup as the antidote that can cleanse not only the sins of your past, but sin itself that wars in your heart and holds you captive to its desires. He has broken the bondage if you will come and drink of him.
Unlike the fall in Eden that subjected every one of us and the earth itself to the captivity of sin; this gift freely given, must be freely received. God's desire for us to enter into relationship with him is still based on our choice. Though he pursues us with an undying love and offers us to drink of the fountain of life, he will not make any of us come.
This is your choice pure and simple.
The door is open; all we have to do is trust him enough to walk through it. There's that word again-trust! What Adam and Eve did not do in the Garden, we can now do through the work of the cross.
Enduring the antidote for sin was only part of it. Something else happened on that cross that was meant to change our lives forever.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. -Ephesians 1:7-8