A Cup of Kindness for a Cup of Death
Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” –John 18:11
I have been preaching through the Gospel of John for a number of months. One thing that makes John different than the other three Gospels is the absence of the Lord’s Supper. John does set the scene for us in chapter 13 where the Upper Room event takes place, but the Supper itself is largely skipped over. We don’t have Jesus taking the bread and breaking it or taking the cup and blessing it. We simply have Judas leaving to betray Jesus and then John moves on to Jesus speaking with the disciples for four chapters. Although John skips over the Supper, he gives us beautiful, comforting words from Jesus that no one else does, and I’m grateful for those words.
Due to the four chapters in-between the Upper Room and the arrest of Jesus, it is easy for us to forget that this is the same night. Easy to forget that Jesus most certainly took a cup of wine, saying these words: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” And on that same night He said to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Martin Luther referred to what happened on the cross as “the happy exchange” where Christ takes all our sin and gives us all His righteousness. He takes every shameful thought, every crooked word, and every sinful deed, and He gives us His thoughts, words, and deeds. Truly good thoughts we could never begin to think. Kind words we have never said. And perfect deeds we have never done and could never do.