Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Cup He Drank

Today is Good Friday; a sobering day for quiet reflection. The theme of my church's service tonight is, "He drank our cup that we might drink His." The Old Testament speaks often of the cup of God's wrath that the wicked will drink:
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed,and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Psalm 75:8)
Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: You must drink! For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the Lord of hosts.’ (Jeremiah 25:27-29)
But then in Isaiah 51, we are given the first glimmer of hope, the first hinting of the cup that Christ would later drink for us:
Thus says your Lord, the Lord, your God who pleads the cause of his people: "Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more." (Isaiah 51:22)
And then, many years later, we find Jesus in Gethsemane, praying that the Lord would remove this cup from Him. He knew the fullness of the wrath that He would drink, and yet, His prayer was, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done" (Matthew 26:42).

And He did drink it, the cup of God's wrath. And when it was empty, he declared, "It is finished," and the curtain in the temple was torn in two, split from top to bottom.

The wrath that we could never satisfy was drained dry by the One who could never deserve it. And now we drink of His cup, an inheritance that Peter describes as "imperishable, undefiled and unfading". This is a glorious thing. 

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