The Cup, the Kiss and the Captive

The Terrible Cup

On the evening before He was crucified, Jesus ate supper with His disciples. After the meal Jesus took the bread, He took the cup and He told the disciples about His death (Mark 14:22-24) and about His resurrection (Mark 14:25). They then sang a H_________ or a psalm (Mark 14:26) and went out into the Mount of Olives to a place which was named Gethsemane (Mark 14:32), a place where the Lord often went to pray (Luke 22:39). The Mount of Olives was located on the eastern side of the city of Jerusalem.

The Lord knew that the time for His death had come, and He was filled with sorrow.  His soul was greatly troubled. Jesus showed us what we should do when sorrows and troubles come our way (see Psalm 62:8).  He fell on the ground (Mark 14:35) and poured out His heart before His Heavenly Father. As He prayed, He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this _________  from me" (Mark 14:36; compare Matthew 26:39).

What was this cup and what was it filled with?  Why was Jesus filled with sorrow and grief at the thought of drinking from this cup? As perfect Man, Jesus was horrified at the thought of drinking from the contents of this dreaded cup. What was in this cup?

The contents of a cup may either be good or bad. A cup may be filled with milk or juice, or a cup may be filled with some harmful acid or poison. Because Jesus did not want to drink from this cup, we know that it contained something terrible.

In Psalm 11:6 the Bible speaks of a terrible cup. Is this cup for a righteous person or a wicked person? ____________________________  Another dreadful cup is mentioned in Psalm 75:8. Who shall drink from this cup? __________________________________  In whose hand is this cup (Psalm 75:8)? _____________________________________ See also Isaiah 51:17; 51:22; Revelation 14:10; 16:19.

According to John 18:11, who gave this cup to Jesus to drink? (circle the correct answer)

a. the devil
b. the  Father
c. wicked men
d. the Jewish leaders
e. Judas

Why would God the Father give His beloved Son something terrible to drink? Why did the Father give to Jesus that cup which the wicked should drink? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21. When Christ died on the cross He was made ________ for us. God treated Christ as if He were sin. How does God treat sin? God hates sin! God must judge sin! God must punish sin! Christ was made sin for us!

Was Jesus guilty or innocent? __________________ Was He sinful or sinless? __________________ Was He righteous or unrighteous? _____________________ Who should have been punished and judged by God? Who really should have received God’s anger and wrath? Who are the guilty ones (Romans 3:19,23)? ____________________________ Why shouldn’t God serve you His cup and have you drink from it? What must I do so that I will not perish and will not be judged, and so that I will not be condemned and not have God’s wrath upon me (John 3:16,18,36)? ______________________________________________________________

Christ died in my place as my Substitute! He took the penalty for all my sins. How does God treat the person who believes in His Son (see Ephesians 2:4-7; Titus 3:4-5)?

God deals with the believer in grace.  God pours out upon us (as believers) His mercy and love and kindness which we do not deserve at all.  Our Saviour drank a cup of wrath without mercy, that we might drink a cup of mercy without wrath!

How does God deal with the person who refuses to come to Christ for salvation (Eph. 5:5-6; Col. 3:5-6; John 8:24)?  __________________________________________________________

The Lord Jesus did not want to drink from this terrible cup filled with God’s anger and judgment against sinners. But Jesus knew that it was the Father’s will that He should die on the cross. He wanted to do the Father’s will more than anything else (John 4:34). Also Jesus knew that going to the cross was the only way that could make it possible for sinful men to be saved. Christ loved us and gave Himself for us on the cross!

The Kiss of "Love" From a Heart of Hate

While Jesus was still in Gethsemane, Judas came to betray Him and hand Him over to the Jewish leaders. Did the Lord know all about this before it ever happened, or did Judas catch the Lord by surprise (see Matthew 26:21–25; 26:46; John 18:4)? ____________________________________________________________
Judas did not come alone. Matthew says that he had with him a G__________ M__________________ (Matthew 26:47). The Jewish leaders were there and also a large group of Roman soldiers (probably more than 100 of them).  The Jews had brought along these soldiers to help them.  In John 18:3 the word "band" refers to a Roman "cohort" which could be as many as 600 soldiers.

Can you picture this in your mind? It was dark and all of these people came with their torches (John 18:3). Judas led them.  This multitude of people included the Jewish leaders who hated Christ, the Jewish policemen (temple officers – John 18:3), and the Roman soldiers.  What did they have in their hands? (See the last word in John 18:3.)  ___________________ They were armed with swords and clubs and weapons (compare Mark 14:43) so that they could capture and arrest one unarmed man!

Judas had previously made arrangements with the enemies of Jesus and had given them a clear sign by which they could easily identify the One they should arrest. What was this sign (Mark 14:44-45)? ___________________________

In Bible times, kissing was something that friends would do. A man would kiss a man or a woman would kiss a woman as a sign or greeting of friendship (compare Romans 16:16). Was Judas a friend or an enemy? ______________________  Did David kiss Goliath before he threw his stone?  Did he shake his hand?   Judas would have been more honest if he had come up to Jesus and spit on Him!

Before we say too much against Judas, let us search our own hearts. Do I really love the Lord Jesus or am I a phony pretender? Do I "kiss" the Lord on Sunday while in Church and then "betray" Him the rest of the week by the way I live, the things I do and the words I say?

The Captive Who Was in Complete Command

Carefully read John 18:4-6. When the Lord identified Himself and said, "I am He!" what happened to this great multitude of Jews and soldiers?

Did Judas fall down too (John 18:5-6)? _______ It must have been an amazing sight to see hundreds of trained Roman soldiers and a multitude of Jews on the ground.  Eleven disciples and one unarmed Jesus were the only ones standing on their feet! All the rest were on the ground.  All this happened because Jesus simply said: "I am He!" As the men were getting back on their feet, it was as if Jesus were saying, "Gentlemen, I’m going to let you arrest Me, but before allowing you to do this, I just wanted to remind you who is really in control!"

Jesus was in complete command of the situation. He was simply reminding these men of something that He had already said in John 10:11,17,18. Jesus willingly and voluntarily gave His life, and this is the only reason they were able to take Him and arrest Him. There were other times when men wanted to capture and kill Jesus. Were they able to do this? (See John 7:30; 8:20; Luke 4:28-30; etc.) ______

Jesus did not go to the cross because the Jews or the Romans put Him there. He went to the cross because He put Himself there and He put Himself there because He loved us and wanted to die for us (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2,25)! The Jews and Romans could not do anything to Jesus without His permission!

The Prayer Jesus Never Prayed

In John 18:10-11, we learn something else that happened on that evening. Peter rushed to the Lord’s rescue, and with a mighty thrust but with poor aim, he sliced off the right ear of a man named Malchus! According to Dr. Luke, what did Jesus do about this situation (Luke 22:51)? ______________________________________

Those who arrested Jesus saw two amazing things: 1) They saw that Jesus merely had to speak and say "I am He!" and everyone fell down to the ground; 2) They also saw Jesus miraculously heal a man whose ear had just been sliced off by a sword!  Would the captors of Jesus ever be able to say, "We had no reason to believe He was the Son of God"? ________

Did Jesus really need Peter’s help? ________ In fact, Jesus told Peter that He could have prayed, and the Father, without a second's delay, would have given Him more than twelve legions of _____________ (Matthew 26:53). A legion at full strength consisted of 6,000 soldiers. Thus, 12 legions would equal (6,000 X 12) __________________ soldiers.  The Father would have sent more than 12 legions of angels if Jesus had asked for them! That would have been a huge angelic army!

That angelic army would have been more than 120 cohorts of angels (a cohort is one-tenth of a legion), and the Jews only had one cohort or band of Roman soldiers present to arrest Christ (John 18:3).  Keep in mind that angels are very powerful creatures.   Just one angel could have wiped out an entire Roman cohort or an entire Roman army!  If Christ had prayed this prayer, there would have been at least one full legion of angels to protect each of the eleven disciples and the Lord Himself!

Did Jesus pray this prayer? ________Why not (John 18:11)?

If Christ had saved Himself then how could mankind have been saved? If Christ had not gone to the cross, then what hope would there be for sinful men and women, boys and girls?

Did the Lord really need Peter or thousands of angels to protect Himself? _____ If He could merely speak and all His enemies would suddenly fall down to the ground, could He not also speak and have all His enemies fall down to the ground dead? _____ Jesus did not want to kill His enemies; He wanted to die for His enemies (see Romans 5:6,8,10; John 3:17;12:47)!  What amazing love!

Love brought my Saviour here to die
On Calvary;
For such a sinful wretch as I –
How can it be?

Love bridged the gulf 'twixt me and heaven
Taught me to pray;
I am redeemed, set free,  forgiven!

Love found a way to redeem my soul!
Love found a way that could make me whole!
Love sent my Lord to the cross of shame!
Love found a way – O PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!

                                            – Avis B. Christiansen

See Psalm 116:1214.

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