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Monday, April 23, 2012

John 18:10-11

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)  Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

This was supposed to be the start of the revolution.  This was supposed to be the sword swing heard around the world.  This was supposed to be Israel's moment of glory when it finally broke of the yoke of oppression from the Roman Empire.  The kingdom would finally be restored to Israel and Jesus would be the new Emperor.  Malchus was going to be the first casualty of this revolutionary war.  At least, that is what Peter thought.

Jesus had a different revolution in mind and a much different cup to drink.  Not only does he rebuke Peter's actions, he heals Malchus' ear and makes amends.  Jesus does not fight for his life, nor does he resist arrest.  It leads to his torture and death on the cross, and the Messiah Peter had trusted in, the one who would restore Israel, was humiliated by crucifixion, the worst punishment and mockery given to the enemies of Rome.

Christ won a different victory that day and his reward was not a perishable earthly kingdom, but an eternal one in which he reigns forever.  And soon, Peter's despair will turn to praise and his mourning to gladness for the victory Christ won he shares with all those who abandoned him in his final hour. He shares it with those who return and believe in his promises. He shares it with all those who say with him, "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

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