“Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?'”
I once read a heartwarming devotional in Tabletalk magazine about today’s verse. In John 18, Jesus declared that He would no longer pray that the cup of God’s wrath might pass from Him. Here we see our Good Shepherd embrace the cross. First, He goes to the Kidron Valley — a place well known to Judas. Jesus would not be captured like a hunted animal but, knowing Judas would intercept Him there, He gave Himself up in the garden without restraint. Also, Jesus openly declared His identity to the soldiers — some may have assumed Jesus would hide behind His disciples and have to be forcefully exposed, but not our Savior! When Jesus stepped forward to accept Judas’ kiss of betrayal, He powerfully and majestically declared, “I AM.” With these words, the soldiers fell back in awe and intimidation.
Jesus knew He would have to stand alone in the hour of His death, and He faced it with royal resolve. Even when Peter impetuously drew his sword, Jesus admonished him, saying, “No one can stop me from the task before me.” Maybe the soldiers thought they would have to drag away a reluctant captive under the cloak of darkness, but instead they faced the King of Kings who willingly took control of the situation.*
Jesus went to the cross with a complete devotion to obey His Father, as well as a heart full of love for His people. Do you have a difficult duty to which God has called you? Is the Lord asking you to ‘die’ to a certain habit, wish, or circumstance? Are you following the Lord’s lead reluctantly? Ask God to give you the attitude of Christ.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You laid down Your life willingly for me. Thank You that You did not balk once You accepted the will of the Father. Help me to do the same today in every difficult situation.