In football, the left tackle position protects the quarterback from crushing blindside hits as he looks for an open receiver to throw to. A quarterback, for the sake of his safety and team success, wants the strongest man possible for his weak side protection. A left tackle absorbs enormous, crippling hits so the quarterback can succeed. Do we realize the earth-shaking hit Jesus absorbed for us?
In Gethsemane, we find Jesus asking God, “Father if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) If we want to know what’s in that cup, let Scripture tell us. God said to Jeremiah, “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.” Jeremiah (25:15-16) This cup Jesus spoke of is undoubtedly full of God’s wrath, intended for the sinful world. Later, in Jeremiah 25:33, it’s explained men are no match for God’s wrath. “And those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.”
Make no mistake – that’s the crushing hit Jesus took for us. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) The vilest sins of the world – murder, rape, all sorts of perversions, hate, and greed – all drank down and absorbed by Jesus. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) This was all for the purpose of healing our broken relationship with God!
This full-on direct hit by God, as we read in Isaiah 53:10, was a hit no man or woman could absorb. This is the same wrath that destroyed the entire earth minus Noah’s family, sent down ten horrific plagues on a defiant Pharaoh, and completely tore Israel apart as Jeremiah 25 spoke of. However, instead of crushing us like that, God had something else in mind. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or sleep we might live with him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) Thank Jesus today for being strong enough to step in, drink that cup, and endure the cross. Remember the great left tackle we have!