How to treat haters

"Do good to those who hate you." Luke 6:27

What a command! How could it be expected of anyone? And who dares to require it? One who exemplifies it in the extreme.

God is the One who does good to those who hate him. He sent his own Son to die for sinners, while they were yet sinners -- "while we were enemies," as Paul says (Rom. 5:10). While we fought against the gospel with the viciousness of rabid dogs, the Holy Spirit did good to us by granting us to believe.

We were God's enemies and he did eternal good to us in the midst of our hatred. This is why we can turn right around and do good to those who hate us, to the glory of God.

A real request

"Remove this cup from me." Mark 14:36

This was a real request. Jesus doesn't play-act. "There was no deceit in his mouth" (Isa. 53:9). Was this request an exception? Perish the thought! What makes him exceptional is that there were no exceptions to this stunning rule.

Sometimes Jesus spoke above the truth, but never against it. "Destroy this temple" mislead his opponents, but the deception was their own, not his. He is the true temple. What we have here is not that. In the garden, he spoke to the Father in dead earnest. Jesus really desired to escape this cup.

What kind of cup could possibly press blood from those holy pores and such a request from those unerring lips? The beatings and whips and spikes were but the froth of that cup (some of his disciples have endured those same sufferings with great joy). His cup was different; it wasn't less, but more. Its real content was the concentrated wrath of God against sin, the sin he was about to bear.

Jesus made a real request because the cup was real. And because he went ahead and drained it anyway, we who trust him are really forgiven. The fiery wrath we deserve was really spent on Christ in our place. Jesus drank the cup of real wrath to put cups of real mercy in our hands forever!