Holy Thursday

Gethsemane, O Gethsemane!

Then [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt 26:38-39)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “when Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” This is most certainly true. Yet, the death to which Christ calls all men is not the same as that to which God called His only begotten Son and to which the Son, in total obedience submitted Himself.

Christ calls us to the death of the Old Adam in us that we may rise in His newness. Therefore, the death to which He calls us is thus a death to sin, and so is a death that brings us life.

However, God called the only other good enough to pay the price of sin–the Second Person of the Trinity–to take on Himself the sin of all men, to be sin in the flesh, and so be totally rejected by the Father. In His obedience, Christ Jesus, who knew no sin of His own, makes Himself dead to God. God called His Son to be as man without faith is.

Obedient unto death, the weight and blackness of the sin of all men–past, present, and to come–rested upon Him; and God turned His face away so that the Son could die. So through that obedience leading to death, the requirements of the Law were fulfilled by the only one who could: God Himself.

Father, let the cup pass…. How could the Son bear the weight and filth of our sin that forced His separation from the Father? He could because that is the blood price to be paid; He is the ‘hilasterion’, the blood covering for all of us. In His death, we have life.

It is because God so loved us that Jesus drank of the cup unto death.

Let us glorify God and be glad for it.