Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Cups

Matthew 26:44 (NKJV) So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

This verse contains some details from the night Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus went to the garden to pray. He knew they were coming for Him so He took three disciples with Him to keep watch (Matt. 26:37-38).

As the Roman soldiers were on the way to apprehend Him, He prayed three times, the same prayer. The Bible says, "Again, a second time, He [Jesus] went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done" (Matthew 26:42). This verse tells us what the prayer was. In the verse before it (v. 41), Jesus said, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." As a human, Jesus was grieved beyond what we can imagine. He knew what He was facing, but why did Jesus pray the same prayer three times?

Knowing He was feeling weak, one might conclude that He was being persistent, hoping the cup could pass before Him. However, this was not the reason. He prayed the same prayer three times because He was providing three sacrifices, each one would require bloodshed.

The Bible tells us in Exodus 29, a priest needed to perform three types of sacrifices to prepare himself to enter the presence of God's glory. There was the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the consecration offering.

The reason for each offering is Hidden in the names of the disciples He brought with Him to watch. Mark 14:33 says "He took Peter, James, and John with Him."

The name Peter means, "a piece of the rock" (Strong's number* G4074). This points to the Ten commandments that were written on, "pieces of rock." The sin offering was required when the ten commandments were given. The ten commandments were given on, "pieces of rock", therefore, Peter was the reason for the sin offering.

The name James comes from the Hebrew name Jacob (Strong's*  G2385, H3290). Jacob in the Old Testament, got his name because he, "wrongfully took hold" of his brothers heel (Gen. 25;26). This is what Adam did when he, "wrongfully took hold" of the fruit. This created the need for a burnt offering. Wrongfully taking hold (James) was the need for a burnt offering.

The priest needed a third offering to wash away the remnants of sin. The first two offerings forgive us of sin, with these two offerings, we would remain to be sinners. As sinners, we would still be unable to enter into the presence of God's glory. Somewhat like a murderer can be forgiven of the crime, but still remains to be a murderer.

The third offering, known as the consecration offering, washes away the remnants of sin. This sacrifice was required because even when a sinner does good, they are still a sinner.

The name John comes from the Hebrew name, Jehohanan (Strong's* G2491). The name Jehohanan means, Jehovah favored, or more commonly stated, God's grace (Strong's* H3076). God's grace makes us righteous. We could never achieve righteousness on our own, this is why we require, "God's grace" (John), the third offering.

When a righteous person sins, they are still righteous. The biggest benefit of salvation---neither sin, nor its remnants can ever separate you from God. You can now connect with God and allow Him to permeate your being. He can remove your unhealthy desires and break bondages in your life. He can flow through you in wisdom to give you good ideas, He can even reflect His glory through you to make you attractive to the unsaved.

Take advantage of what is available. Talk to Him continually, even if you feel like you are doing things you should not do. Fellowship with God through prayer and communion and let Him take root in your being. The chains of sin have been broken. Let God change your desires while you discover a life worth living!

Be Blessed!
* Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by JAMES STRONG, MADISON, NJ.

No comments:

Post a Comment