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The Path Of His Passion
by Bro. Clifford Hurst

1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417

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A steaming hot, fragrant and fresh mug of coffee was put in my hands early this morning. As grateful as I was for being served, I could not but take note of the uniqueness of this cup from the usual ones. Observing its stubby height yet remarkable wide brim, I inquired of the one who had handed it to me, "What's with the mug?" "Oh," the answer came, "that's a Starbucks mug. Now you will look hip." (or whatever synonym for "cool" was used.). I am no fan of Starbucks (sorry you Starbucks loyalists). Neither at my age am I concerned with being "hip." But, through the morning I kept thinking of how I had held that mug earlier and stared into its mouth. Staring, I was pondering of how during this Passion Week Jesus faced a cup. The OT used, as an analogy of God's pending judgment of the wicked, a cup filled with poisonous, destructive alcohol. The figure informs us that God holds a cup of His fury which He will hand it to the wicked who deserve His wrath and require they drink it. Jesus in Gethsemane sweat drops of blood as He prayed, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." That cup wasn't just the awful suffering He would face from Roman crucifixion-though it is a reference to such. That cup was this cup of God's fury, wrath, and judgment. That cup was not Jesus' cup-He was sinless. That cup was sinful humanity's cup. That cup was your cup. That cup was my cup. That cup of judgment in the holy grip of God was being handed to us to drink. Jesus stepped between us and God and said, "Father, I will drink it for them." His humanity cried out in that garden, "Father, if there is any other way for them to be saved without my drinking that cup, please, let it be so. But, if there isn't, I will drink it." Drink it He did. The suffering of God's judgment on sin, although it came with the torture of crucifixion, was a far greater pain and darkness to Jesus than just the pain of the physical instruments of torture. He drank our judgment. He drank our suffering. It is one thing to be handed a nice mug containing a pleasant beverage. It's another to be handed a mug possessing awful, poisonous contents. In my mind's eye, seeing Jesus holding that cup, I don't think "hip." I think, oh, what love. Oh, what grace. Oh, what a wonderful Savior. He drank it for me.

  Read more of Pastor Hurst's Pastors Desk Articles!