We know that Jesus' baptism in water took place at the beginning of His ministry. In harmony with the Divine Plan, He was to die as the Savior of men. During the three and a half years of His ministry, He was accomplishing this baptism, He was pouring out His soul unto death, and this death He finished at Calvary.
He had told His disciples that He would go up to Jerusalem; and that there He would be crucified, and on the third day He would rise again. And He said on another occasion, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.
But Jesus used the word in a different sense.
Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt. On the contrary, from the very beginning He voluntarily participated in it. The ignominious death was the thing that He prayed might pass, if it were possible. But this was what He learned was the Father's will for Him, and He was content to have it so.
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There was nothing in the Law to indicate that our Lord should be executed as a blasphemer of the Divine Law. Yet blasphemy was the charge preferred against Him. The Sanhedrin decided that He was a blasphemer [R : page 85] in that He had said, "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it again," and also in claiming that He was the Son of God. Apparently, then, the thing which was specially weighing on His mind and from which He would have liked to be relieved was the ignominy and shame of being crucified as a criminal, as a blasphemer of the Father He loved so well.
Jesus knew that He had come into the world to die, and that He must suffer. But this part of His experience He had not fully understood.
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Evidently He knew that "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up"; for comparatively early in His ministry He had stated this in His conversation with Nicodemus. But as He came down nearer and nearer to the time of His humiliation, His degradation, and realized all that it meant, He felt a great shrinking from it and poured out His heart in the cry, "If it be possible, let this Cup pass from Me! And so to His disciples our Savior said: Are you able to lay down your lives completely, even though this shall mean to you injustice in the taking away of your lives?
Are ye able to drink of the Cup that I shall drink of?
Are Ye Able Said The Master
There will be disgrace and ignominy connected with it all. Are ye willing to share with Me in this, My Cup? They answered: "We are able. This, we see, is the same Cup represented in the Communion Service. The bread represents the body and the wine the blood of our Lord. At any cost they would be faithful.
They would comply with any conditions He would make. They did not, of course, yet know the full import of the word baptism or of the word cup. These were things all His disciples were feeling after. When Pentecost should come, these things that Jesus had spoken to them would come to their remembrance, as He had foretold. John ; But they were willing and anxious. And that is all that we can be. Jesus guaranteed that, being willing, they should have these experiences; that, continuing willing, continuing to suffer with Him here, they should reign with Him in His Throne.
But as to the particular place for each in the Throne, that would not be for Him to say, but for the Father. The courage, the fortitude, of our dear Redeemer in walking the narrow way fills us with admiration. How strong and brave was His character! What a noble Example was set before the Apostles! The drinking of the Lord's Cup by the Church, represents our participation in the sufferings of Christ in the present time.
None shall be a member of the Body of the great Mediator of the New Covenant unless he come in now under the proper terms. The drinking of the blood, then, is the sharing of the Cup.
Remold them, make us, like thee, divine. Thy guiding radiance above us shall be a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty. Since the hymn has appeared mostly in Methodist or United Methodist hymnals.
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According to Methodist hymnologist and hymnal editor Robert Guy McCuthan, the poet set out to tie together two biblical scenes from the passion of Christ. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? He taught philosophy at Boston University from to and served as dean of the University from He then taught philosophy of religion and religious literature at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University from Until the renovation of Perkins Chapel in , a small prayer chapel in the north transept was named for him.