What if you had a young child who was diagnosed with a rare blood disease? As the doctors tell you about it, they tell you that the disease is almost unheard of in children. Though they have a form of chemotherapy that could cleanse your child’s blood and restore him to health, the drug is too strong for the child’s undeveloped body to withstand the dose necessary to cure him. In other words, the cure would kill him before it healed him.(Image: Some rights reserved, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0; by Little_Ricky at flickr)
But there is a way around that, they say. They could administer the chemotherapy into your blood. Though it would make you deathly ill and possibly even kill you, the therapy could produce antigens in your blood that could then be transplanted to your child’s body and cleanse him of the disease as well. Would you do it? Most parents wouldn’t hesitate for a second.
Neither did God. This was his opportunity to destroy the power of sin and liberate those who had been captives to it all their lives. The onlookers at Golgotha that day only saw a man experiencing the agonizing death of crucifixion. They did not know that the sinless one had been made sin for them and that the physical pains of the cross only reflected in human terms what transpired in God’s eternity.
It seems the cup of wrath was lifted to his lips and Jesus drank of it fully, letting it eat away at sin itself. He drank it to the end letting wrath war against sin until sin succumbed to the power of God and was consumed in him.
. . . . By enduring to the end, sin was fully conquered in him. Its spell over humanity was broken and no longer does anyone have to be consumed by sin itself, nor God’s wrath against it. The antidote not only worked in him, by doing so it had produced in his blood a fountain of life as well. Transfused into any person who desires it, his blood can cleanse us of sin and reunite us with God himself—fulfilling the dream that he had when he first decided to create man and woman and place them in the center of his creation.
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).
Only a few hours before as he shared a final meal with his disciples, Jesus spoke of the cup he would provide for us. Having drunk of the cup of wrath our sins deserved and having used that to condemn sin in sinful flesh, now he offers us a different cup. This cup is filled with his blood that has been purified and teems with life and grace.
Now he invites you to come and drink of his cup as the antidote that can cleanse not only the sins of your past, but sin itself that wars in your heart and holds you captive to its desires. He has broken the bondage if you will come and drink of him.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17