Read Matthew 20:17-23
Something that all of us with zero combat experience should realize is that we really have no clue what combat veterans have really been through (for which I am deeply grateful). Historical records prove this, as some have worried that “their generation’s great war” would end before they “got a chance to get in it”.
The combat veteran’s understanding of the sheer horror of war is simply inaccessible to the rest of us. I have enjoyed the freedom that soldiers have given me, with only a distant imagining of the true cost of gaining and protecting it.
When Zebedee’s sons and their mother came to ask Jesus to allow them the positions closest to Him in glory, He had just informed them of the horror that He was about to face that was beyond their comprehension.
18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
The brothers responded to this horrific news by asking to be seated to Jesus’ right and to his left in His kingdom, Jesus then asked the brothers if they could drink the same cup of suffering that he was speaking of for himself. They responded that they could. Yet there was no possible way for them to fully know what they were saying.
As believers, we ask Christ to allow us the freedom from condemnation and slavery to sin that He paid for on the cross. And He grants precisely that to us, having suffered the deepest, incomprehensible suffering possible in our place.
The one and only veteran of Christ’s cross was brutally tortured by men: died a horrific human death on a cross, and faced separation from his Father God to pay for our guilt. Yet, when we simply ask, we are granted eternal life with Him.