Are We Willing to Drink His Cup? # 2
What's the cup?
Skip to chapter 26 of Matthew. Here's the baptism for you.
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will as thou wilt." And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?"
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Matthew 26:39-42).
What was the cup? Well, I'll tell you one ingredient it had. It had betrayal in it. The men who had sworn allegiance to Him, when it came to a crisis, quit. Can He drink of the cup? What's in the cup?
I believe in that cup there was: internal suffering, mental suffering, and Spiritual suffering.
Do you want to drink the cup? I am straightened, He says. I cannot do anything now. There is a baptism through which I have to go.
The Holy Spirit cannot come down until I go up. I cannot go up until I have done the will of the Father.
And so He goes through the agony of Gethsemane. He goes through the lonesomeness. He drank of that cup.
I say it was internal because in Isaiah 53:11 it says He travailed. Isn't that internal? Deserted by others in the darkest hour, not only by men, but by God.
Can you drink of that cup?
Do you want to travail?
You see, what people are seeking today is a painless Pentecost.
There isn't such a thing.
What happened immediately after Pentecost? They prospered yes? No! They went to jail! It wasn't prosperity; it was prison, pain, privation, and persecution.
Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 6:19,
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
There a lot of wealthy Christians that will get to heaven bankrupt. And there are a lot of Christians who are almost bankrupt, living in poverty, who will be super-millionaires when they get into eternity.
We read elsewhere that if you're going to follow the Lord, it means division in the family. Your father and mother will hate you. Jesus came to the place where his brothers said, "He's insane."
People say, "I want to be like Jesus." Well, I doubt it.
Do you want to get kicked out of your family because you love God? Do you want to be so true to God that a Thomas comes and doubts you? That a Judas sells you? Do you really want to be like Jesus? Well then, why don't you practice it? Why don't you have forty days and forty nights of fasting? Forget all the paperwork. We make such rash vows when the temperature is running high in a meeting. I say, the pain was internal.
He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11).
I'm sure it was not only internal, it was also mental pain. I'm sure it was bodily pain. It says in Isaiah 50:6, "I gave my back to the smitters." We don't do that. We fight back. We don't like somebody to carve us up, scorn us, ridicule us, humiliate us, misrepresent us. He got the whole works! Yet He never muttered once. When it came to the agony of the Cross it says that men shot out the lip. "If God's your Father, then let Him deliver you."
I say again, the perennial challenge to a Christian, is "Come down from the Cross and save yourself." You made a decision in a missionary meeting: "I'm going to give more money to missions." Then something came up and you backed off.
"I'm going to spent more time with God." You didn't do it.
Before Elijah called down the fire, he rebuilt the old altar. We don't want to go back to old altars, to old vows, to old commitments. We always try to make new things. God knows they'll be brought down in a few weeks! Christianity has not been weighted in the balances and found wanting. It's being tried, found difficult, and rejected! It's too tough. There's no part-time service. "Leave all and follow me."
I was going down the street in Oldham, which is nine miles outside of Manchester. I was in my early twenties. I pastored the largest church in town, in fact, the largest Holiness church in England. I was going down the street one day. As I passed a house, the lady opened the door. "Hi! You're the pastor at the Tabernacle. I often come to you church. I sit on the back seat. I'm very poor. I can't give anything in the offering, but I want to do something for you. Would you come into my house a drink a cup of tea?"
Well, usually, of course, I want tea, so I said, "Yes." I went in, and boy, did that house smell. I got in there and she had finger nails clogged up with dirt. The kitchen sink was filled with dirty dishes.
There was a plate with some old bacon covered with mold. That fuzzy horrid booking stuff. She reached into the kitchen sink to a stack of cups and picked one. You know, the tea had dried on the outside. Oh, mercy on us! It looked as though it had about a hundred bugs at the bottom; dried, dirty, rotten old tea leaves. In fact, some were moldy. "Well, now" she said, "I'm going to get you a cup of tea." I said, "All right." She poured the tea into the cup. It was as black as my shoes, and I don't like black tea. "Do you take cream?" "Yes." "I have none." "Do you take sugar?" "Yes." "Well, I have none." With that dirty hand shaking, I saw the black stuff that was supposed to be tea, cold as ice. I hesitated. I felt like tipping it up. But I knew I was on trial. She held the cup up, "Drink it!" As she handed me that cup of dirty tea, my mind went 2000 miles away to a place called Gethsemane, 2000 years back. The Father gave a cup of all the dregs of impurity and wickedness. He didn't give it to Gabriel. He didn't give it to Michael the Archangel. He gave it to His Son!
This is what He has come to do. He's come to consume iniquity. He's going to do it in the Garden of Gethsemane by Himself, when everybody has betrayed Him, when His nerves are down, and He can hear the enemy coming! He's thinking of all the years He's demonstrated His power, shown that He was the Son of God. He's walked on the water. He's raised the dead. He's cleansed the leper. He's healed insane people. And they didn't believe on Him!
So what's the difference today? Do we believe on Him?
Remember that there wasn't one of the twelve disciples that had a Bible. Not even the Apostle Paul had one. Don't boast too much about your Bible knowledge. It's going to face us at the Judgment Seat.
I don't have a big library, but I have a few nice books. I wonder sometimes, will these books rise up in judgment against me?
I say with all my heart, we're looking for a painless Pentecost. We want to invest a dime and get a million dollars back. Can you drink of the cup? "We are able," and so they drank, and were crucified.
Today it is considered sadistic if you even say that people have to take up their Cross. "Don't tell young people about the Cross, they'll be discouraged." Are you suggesting that Jesus wasn't smart? "If you're going to be my disciple, kiss the world goodbye." You see, when people are born again these days, they don't get separated from the world. Most likely their pastor is the most worldly guy around! But if you're going to get what He wants to give, if you're going to get the true baptism of the Spirit, you have to drink of that cup.
They said, "We are able." And He said, "You shall drink indeed of that cup, and be baptized of the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand and my left is not mine to give. The Father is going to do that." Verse 24 says that when the other ten disciples were around listening they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Now He rubs their noses in the dust. "You're looking to sit on My right hand and on My left in My Kingdom." He could have said, "Are you prepared to go through hell to get there?" You can't show me a revival in history that hasn't been born of travail, pain, loneliness, and dark weary nights.
(continued with # 3)