There is a striking progression in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus, in which He is shown to be the One who alone can bear the wrath of God on behalf of His people. At the beginning of the Gospels He has multitudes surrounding Him. Then He narrows it down to the seventy. From that group He chooses twelve. Then He takes eleven into the Garden and pulls three aside with Him. Finally He is left alone to look into the cup that the Father has prepared for Him to drink to the full by Himself. Eric Alexander notes:
Isaiah foresaw this when he prophesied that Jesus would be â€œcut off from the land of the livingâ€ (Isa. 53:8). He was cut off in a two-fold sense. First, He was cut off from men by physical distance. This was a progressive attribute of the life of Jesus. He had the multitudes at the beginning. Out of the multitudes, he had the seventy, to whom He committed special tasks as He sent them out to by two. Within the group of seventy there was the Twelve, and then the three who went with Him into peculiarly important and sacred places. But in the supreme hour, when He faced the deepest of agonies, He was alone, cut off from man by His holiness. But He also was cut off by the sins that He was bearingâ€”not His own, but ours. â€œHe looked, and there was no man, neither any to regard him” (Isaiah 59). It was a cup of loneliness.1
1. Taken from “The Cup of Bitterness, the Cup of Blessing,” delivered by Rev. Eric Alexander at Keswick Convention.