When Christ consumed the Cup of Suffering, He transfigured the world forever.
When Christ consumed the Cup, He transformed the meaning of suffering.
When Christ consumed the Cup, He transmuted its contents from evil into good.
God’s judgment upon man was translated from “Guilty!” to “Not Guilty.”
Death was transported into life.
Suffering was transmogrified from punishment and a sign of death and judgment into glory and joy and a sign that God is with us.
God is famous for performing miracles: we read of Jesus turning water into wine, healing lepers and the lame from their infirmities, and raising people from the dead. God Himself is a living miracle. First, is the miracle of the Holy Trinity, three Persons, and one God. Then, comes the miracle of Christ, who is forever both God and man. Even man is a miracle, having been created ex nihilo by God in the beginning.
Aside from the miracle that is God Himself, God’s greatest miracle is transforming evil into good.
For Jesus Christ is the True Alchemist. You might remember that medieval alchemists endeavored to transmute base elements such as lead and mercury into the nobler elements of gold and silver. While the alchemical Philosopher’s Stone was never discovered (which could not only transmute elements but would also transmute men into immortals), the Theologian’s Stone has been present to all since the first century. We need no hermetical religion, for the Great Transmutation wrought by Christ is open and visible to all.
To help us comprehend such an incomprehensibility as the transformation of evil into good, I will begin with a question: “Was the Cross of Jesus a good or evil thing?”
The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have reminded us all of the great evil of which man is capable, one of the worst of which is the taking of the life of another made in the image of God. Worse still would be to be a mass murderer, especially on the grand scale of Mao, Stalin, or Hitler.
But undoubtedly the worst thing men could ever imagine or do, the very thing they did, was to murder the King of Glory. Was the Crucifixion of Christ, therefore, a good or an evil thing? Both. It was meant for evil in the hands of sinful men but meant for good by God.
Jesus is the new Joseph (as well as the New Adam, New Abel, New Noah, New Moses, New Joshua, and New David). Out of envy and hatred, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. But, due to God’s love and providence, Joseph not only prospered personally: he also saved the world, especially Israel. The climax of Joseph’s story, when he is reunited with his brothers, comes when he says to them: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
What men and Satan mean for evil, God means for good. This is true not only for Joseph but also for the Christian and all Christian suffering.
The worst thing men could ever do, which we actually did, is to kill the King of Glory.
But the best thing God ever did was to send His Son to be killed on the Cross for us.