Saturday, May 03, 2014


Chalice cup
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 116:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "I will take up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord." Psalm 116:13

I love how the Bible calls back and forth to itself with word pictures and metaphors that keep reappearing. The "cup" is one such. If we trace the use of this picture, we see various things are implied by it.

  • In some psalms the writer refers to a cup as one's lot in life (Psalm 16:5). David, in Psalm 23, after listing ways God has blessed him says, "My cup runs over," (Psalm 23:4) telling us God's generosity in blessing him is way more than he expected.
  • The prophets use the cup image to talk of God's wrath and judgment: "… a cup of fury and a cup of trembling …the drugs of My fury" (Isaiah 51:17, 22 and Jeremiah 25:15,17,28). Babylon is called a "golden cup" in the Lord's hands, that surrounding nations drink from and become "deranged" - Jeremiah 51:7.
  • Jesus uses cup imagery several times.
- He asks the disciples, "'Are you able to drink the cup that I'm about to drink?'" - Matthew 20:22,23, telling us that His disciples should expect a similar lot in life to His.
- Celebrating what we call the Last Supper with His disciples, he "…took the cup and gave it to them saying, 'Drink from it all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'" - Matthew 26:27.
- Who can miss the agony in  is Gethsemane prayer when He prays, "'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from me; Nevertheless not My will but Yours be done'" Matthew 26:39. What is that cup he's referring to in Gethsemane? It's the cup of spilled blood He has just spoken of to His disciples. It is the cup of His destiny, His lot in life, the reason He came (John 12:27)—to shed His blood for our sins.
- He makes peace with accepting this cup, for when the soldiers come to arrest Him and Peter defends Him, He says: "'Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?'" (John 18:11).
- So we remember His blood shed in this cup of the new covenant every time we take up the communion cup (1 Corinthians 11:25-27).
  • And because Jesus drank His cup, we can join the writer of Psalm 116 who, centuries before Christ came in faith, took up the cup of salvation and called upon the name of the Lord.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for these beautiful and weighty cup images that runs through the Bible. Thank You for drinking the cup of death for me so I can drink from the cup of salvation. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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