The Cup Christ Drank

What was the cup which Christ came to drink?

Some say Christ’s cup was separation from God the Father, but Psalm 22 says the Father did not turn His face away from His Son on the cross, but withheld His hand until His afflicted Son spoke the word – “It is finished”.

Some say it was the cup of God’s wrath poured upon Christ for men’s sins, but when James and John asked to have the right and left-hand positions in Christ’s kingdom, answering that they were indeed prepared and able to drink of the same cup that Christ drank, Jesus affirmed that they would indeed drink of the cup that He drank. But no man bore the wrath of God for the sins of men other than Christ. No disciple bears God’s wrath for his own sin, much less for the sins of the world. Only Jesus Christ suffered God’s wrath against sin. If indeed James and John did drink of that same cup, it was not the cup of God’s wrath for the sins of the world.

I suggest that the cup Christ drank was that of death – He chose to relinquish all that was His by right, by possession, by circumstance; to endure the shame, the ridicule, the torture; to clothe Himself in our form, experience our mortality, receive our retribution. Christ’s cup was that of complete self-sacrifice so that the purpose of God in salvation could be worked in the world. This is the cup His apostles likewise drank – despising their lives in this world for a better life, a better reward, receiving even death so that others might hear that Jesus Christ came to set them free.

Refs: Psalm 22:24       “For [YHWH] did not despise nor abhor the affliction of the Afflicted; nor did He hide His faces from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He listened.”

Mark 10:35-40     (37 – 40) “They said to him, ‘Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand, and the other on Your left hand, in Your glory.”

But Jesus said unto them, ‘You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink of the cup that I am drinking and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’

And they said to Him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I am drinking, you shall indeed drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized you shall be baptized. But to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give; but to whom it has been prepared.’”

Hebrews 12:2  “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself….”

Phil 2:5-7         “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being inherently the form of God, did not consider it robbery, being equal with God but emptying Himself, taking the form of a servant, and becoming in likeness as a human, and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, submitting to death, even death of a cross …”

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Romans 6:(4-)8           “Or do you not know that as many of us as are baptized (plunged, immersed) into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death? We were then buried with Him through baptism into death, that even as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this: that our old person was crucified together with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer serve sin.