Have you ever thought these kind of thoughts?
I deserve this sorrow — I fail the Lord so much.
The Lord cannot still love me, for I keep doing the thing I do not want to do.
I know the Lord forgives me, but I cannot forgive myself.
When we think this way, we are forgetting “The Cup,”
the enormous sorrow Christ drank on our behalf.
He drank it all,
It is finished.
When God looks at us, His children,
no matter how we have failed Him,
He sees us in His Son and
“loves us as He has loved” Jesus. (John 17:23)
He may feel sorrow for the pain we bring to ourselves and others,
but His steadfast love never wavers.
It is not based on our performance,
but on “the Cup” Christ drank on our behalf.
And when we see how He suffered to drink that cup,
we will, perhaps,
stop thinking we need to “complete” His payment
by beating ourselves up,
or to “earn back” the love we think we have lost.
Instead, He longs for us to rest in what He did for us.
Our symbol this week is “The Cup,” which in Scripture,
symbolizes the cup of God’s wrath.
My friend Sylvia has been in a study for years taught by a wise woman named Reina who faithfully shows, each week, how the gospel permeates all of Scripture and how God wants it to permeate our hearts.
Sylvia says, “I know this — yet my default mode of works righteousness is so strong, I need it every week.” She tells of a conversation with Reina.
Reina: “Sylvia, do you feel the Lord is disappointed with you?”
Sylvia: “I’m sure He is disappointed in my sporadic quiet times.”
Reina: “Don’t do them at all this week.”
Reina: “Don’t do them.”
Though perplexed, Sylvia agreed.
The next week Reina asked her if she had had quiet times.
Sylvia: “I didn’t for a few days — but I missed them, so I did.”
Sylvia got the point. She shouldn’t be meeting with the Lord to earn His approval, His love, or her righteousness — she has it all in Him.
He wants her to come to Him only because she wants to be with Him.
“Works righteousness is the default mode of the human heart.” (Luther)
“When a believer sins, it is never because God is punishing him. Jesus took it all at the cross and it is finished.” (Keller)
He drank all of The Cup.
There is no more to drink.
Highlight from Last Week:
Many of you commented on the story Keller told of the mother bird forest rangers found after a fire in Yellowstone — her body had been calcified. When they removed her, they found three live chicks underneath. This is such an illustration of the fire Christ went through to rescue us.
And it fits so well with this week’s theme, and with Jesus cry: “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, would that I could gather you under my wings, but you would not listen.”
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- In this time of quarantine, have you sensed the presence of the Lord bringing you under His wings? If so, how?
Monday: The Spirit is Willing
Kentucky Abbey “Gethsemani”
3. Read Mark 14:32-34 and answer: What did Jesus ask of these three
disciples and why?
4. Read Mark 14:37-38
A. How did the disciples fail Him?
B. In verse 38, find the three things Jesus says to Simon.
C. Meditate on verse 38 and see if you can find evidence for:
- A warning for their own good
- A praise concerning their spirits
- Understanding concerning their flesh
- Unconditional love
5. When you allow the Spirit to search your heart, what does He tell
you concerning any “wicked way” in you, and also, how that affects
His love for you?
Tuesday: Overcome with Horror
6. Read Mark 14:32-36
A. Keller says the Greek word for “troubled” in verse 33 means
“overcome with horror.” Keller believes He had a premonition
of the suffering ahead, which would be like no suffering anyone
had ever faced. Why, do you think this was so?
B. How does Jesus address God, and what does He ask?
C. Challenge question: How do you see a typical lament in this
7. What other details does Luke add in Luke 22:43-44? Comment.
8. Read the opening of Chapter 15 in Keller’s book up to “The Wrath of
Love” and share your notes and comments.
Wednesday: The Wrath of Love
9. Read this section in Chapter 15 and share your notes and comments.
10. How would you answer someone who said, “I cannot deal with the
idea of a God of wrath?”
Thursday-Friday: The Obedience of Love
11. Read Mark 14:41-42. How does Jesus now face the horror?T
12. Read to the end of the chapter and share your notes and comments.
13. How might you turn what you’ve learned into prayer?
14. What is your take-a-way and why?