Today’s full reading is John 18:1-14
“Jesus commanded Peter, ‘put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Jesus is clear. What’s happening to him is from the Father.
He rebukes Peter on that basis: ‘this has come to me from the Father.’ Jesus trusts his Father and desires to do what the Father sent him to do. His rebuke of Peter is a question that sounds a little like ‘do you know better than my Father?!’
Jesus is incredulous. The Father is in charge of all things and is over all things. The Father has given his Son this ‘cup’ and now the Son must drink it.
The cup he mentions is the same cup he was agonising over in the Garden of Gethsemane. The cup is the wrath of the Father, the cross and the abandonment Jesus will experience by his Father. Having already asked for ‘another way’ Jesus is now convinced that this is the only way. It is certainly the way his Father wants him to travel. Having prayed that prayer and arrived at his conclusion, Jesus is ready.
Peter on the other hand hasn’t been on this emotional journey and arrived at the same conclusion. Peter is only concerned with protecting Jesus and getting him enthroned in place of the Romans.
Let’s consider the Father mentioned here.
We begin by reminding ourselves that everything else we’ve seen about him until this point is still true. At this moment it’s extremely important for us to keep that in our minds.
With that in place it’s clear that this moment, this cup, is not something the Father has issued to his Son easily. This is difficult and costly for both of them, and true as that is — Jesus still drank it, the Father still gave it.
Here we see a God who willingly and without coercion gives up his Son to death. See the Father who allows his Son to drink poison in order that we all may be reconciled to him. This is the final nail in the coffin of the austere, strict and malicious Father God of our nightmares.
This act by the Father was on that broke his heart. This act of braking his Son, broke him. A Father like the one Jesus has been describing to us throughout this series certainly couldn’t have been left unaffected by these events.
Father Thank you. Thank you for the glorious truth contained here. Thank you for your commitment to me and to us. You’re a good good father and I am thrilled to belong to you. I gladly bow my knee to you today, gladly trust you knowing that you would not ask me to do anything you’ve not been through yourself. You’re a Father who identifies with us in our pain. Thank you.