As believers, how often do we stop to ponder the depth of Christ’s atoning work on the cross? Do we pause to consider our own rebellion before God, whether past or present and conclude that it was precisely that rebellion that sent Christ to the Cross?
If we have spent any time in church or listened to many theological discussions, we have heard verses like Romans 3:10 and 3:23 reminding us not one person is righteous and that we all have sinned and fallen short (very short) of God’s glory. We know the wages of sin is death and that without Christ, God’s wrath abides on the sinner (Rom 6:23, John 3:36).
Jesus anguished in the garden prior to his arrest, trial and execution. He asked the Father to take the cup from Him. What was this cup He was referring to? The cup He was referring to is the cup of the wrath of God.
This wrath is poured out on all ungodliness; that includes you and me as sinners in God’s sight. Jesus did something miraculous, the greatest miracle ever experienced. Greater than giving sight to the blind or healing the leprous, even greater than raising the dead. Jesus, the Son of God, left his throne and came in the likeness of His creation to drink the cup of the wrath of God. By believing in Him, we can be given the righteousness of Christ thereby being declared innocent (justified) of all our sinfulness and rebellion.
I love the way David Platt refers to this in his book Radical. He states:
“One preacher described it as if you and I were standing a short one hundred yards away from a dam of water ten thousand miles high and ten thousand miles wide. All of a sudden that dam was breached, and a torrential flood of water came crashing toward us. Right before it reached our feet, the ground in front of us opened up and swallowed it all. At the Cross, Christ drank the full cup of the wrath of God, and when had downed the last drop, he turned the cup over and cried out, “It is finished.””
We should have experienced that wrath and justly so, but the grace of God is that He made a way to express his justice on sin and still provide a way to bring us back to Him thereby making us sons and daughters of God. We have been made free from the bonds of sin and death and are now able to run unfettered through this life, giving glory to God for His incredible gift to us and loving those around us with the same love that was given to us.
Platt, D. (2010). Radical: Taking back your faith from the American dream. Multnomah Books.