Then, for all that wrought my pardon,
For Thy sorrows deep and sore,
For Thine anguish in the Garden,
I will thank Thee evermore,
Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing,
For Thy bleeding and Thy dying,
For that last triumphant cry,
And shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.
LSB 420 st. 7
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go over there and pray’…And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’”
Matthew 26:36, 39
What is this cup that Jesus speaks of? Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering…These two things have happened to you—who will console you?—devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?” (Isa. 51:17, 19).
The One who will comfort us is the true Son born of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth. He is here in the Garden of Gethsemane to take His people by the hand and completely drink the cup in their place. This is His father’s will.
In His anguish over His impending doom, what does He do? Does He go out for one last night on the town? Does He go down to the convenience store to buy something that might take the edge off what He knows is coming? No. In His sorrow and anguish Jesus comes before His Father in prayer saying, “Thy will be done.” Thanks be to God that Jesus did drink this cup! By suffering and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Scripture has been fulfilled that says, “Thus says your Lord, the LORD, your God who pleads the cause of his people: ‘Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more’” (Isa. 51:22).
Let us pray: Almighty God, merciful Father, continue to guide Your people, whom You have redeemed by the precious blood of Your Son, so that we may always be safe from the powers of this world that desire our destruction; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Stanley Lacey, Sem. II)