Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)
TITLE: The Cup Not Taken
By Lori Othouse
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Sweat poured from His brow, like blood from an open wound. Blood. His blood, perfect and pure, would soon flow to save them. Even the ones who would betray Him. He shuddered at the thought - not of the certain physical torture that awaited Him, but of having to take on every sin of every person that ever existed. An unimaginable burden that would cause the loving gaze of His Father, albeit momentarily, to turn away from Him.
He had come here willingly. Became humanity to save humanity. But this separation was almost more than even He could bear. In sorrow, He cried out to His Father, a metaphorical cup in His outstretched hands. It was the cup of suffering that would lead to salvation, the only chance for the restoration of mankind. And He, the only one who could drink it.
Far away and unseen, the Father looked down upon His Beloved Son, longing to snatch Him from the grip of the ones He created. The ones who would brutalize and end His life on the Earth. But it was, for them, the only way. And in spite of how they had wrenched and broken His heart, He loved them too much to let them go, to not provide a way back for them to their rightful place with Him.
Jesus wiped the tears from His eyes as the moon cast a pale glow over His face. Shaking with sweat, He uttered one last plea.
"Father," He faltered, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me."
The Son of Man bowed His head in submission, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done."
Thoughts raced through His mind, random and erratic, as His vulnerable humanness allowed. He thought of His Mother and family - would they be okay? Were His disciples prepared? Had He done all that He came to do? He then felt the gentle presence of one of His Father's angels nearby. How well He knew them. He breathed deeply, taking in its much-needed strength. All He had ever done - every miracle, every teaching, every move and breath - all came down to this night, this moment.
The silence was broken by a multitude of footsteps and voices. It was time. Jesus stood, infused with newfound strength. Drowsy disciples scrambled to their feet, confused and frightened. The time-splitting story of the ages, the ultimate tragedy to triumph, had begun.
And an ending that was only the beginning. All the while, the cup remained, clutched in the broken, scarred hands of the perfect Lamb of God. The cup that was meant for the guilty, taken willingly by the Innocent. This cup not taken is the cup that now testifies salvation, for everyone forevermore.
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