16 January 2022

Herein contains the clarity of the need of the cross and the need for atonement for fallen humanity. It was on the cross, and by the cross, and through the cross that our Saviour performed His work of redemption and gathered His people for eternity.

The centrality and the necessity of the cross are highlighted here. If we do not understand and appreciate what our Lord Jesus said here, we would not relise the need for atonement. Many believe that an atonement is unnecessary. But Jesus, in expressing that He needs to drink the cup the Father has given Him is stating clearly that the t a part of it. It is a cup filled to the brimTriune God had deemed it necessary and essential, implying that there is no other way and this has to be done to save fallen man. Why so?, you may ask.

The cup stated here refers to the cup of wrath (Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15-29; Ps.75:8). It contains the full measure of God’s wrath, not just a part of it. It is a cup filled to the brim and overflowing, and it must be drained to the dregs. This is what Jesus is referring to, at the time of His arrest, as He sets His face towards His trial and death. Atonement and the cross are absolutely essential and necessary if any person was ever to be reconciled to God and redeemed. To understand this,we need to understand the nature and character of God and the nature of sin.

God is loving, but a major part of what He loves is His own perfect character, with a major aspect being the importance of maintaining justice and righteousness. Righteousness means doing what is right. God’s justice has to do with His internal righteousness, His character, which defines everything He does. God never acts according to injustice and He never violates any of the standards of righteousness. He always do what is right. Because He is holy and righteous, He cannot excuse sin; He must judgement on it. The problem is that we have violated God’s justice and earned His displeasure. We are cosmic rebels and traitors; if we grasp this, then we would grasp the necessity of the cross and atonement.

Someone, who had room enough in His being, who is sinless, who has power not to be exhausted by the fullness of the wrath of God and has the capacity to meet all that the devil and his minions would throw at Him – such a one is needed to be the propitiation and substitution for our sins against God. This One is Jesus – He voluntarily lay down His life to reconcile us to God, to be our mediator, our Redeemer, our surety and our substitute, because of love, grace and mercy. Knowing the agonies of the cross, yet He chooses the will of the Father and willingly set His mind and heart to be our Saviour. Thanks be to God for such a saviour!