In our last study we saw that in these two verses there are two distinct cups: there is “THE CUP” and there is “My cup.” We saw last time that THE CUP (20:22) was a symbol of the judgment of God and the wrath of God against sin and that this was THE CUP of the curse that Jesus Christ was to drink.
But Christ also speaks of “My cup.” Jesus says, “My cup you shall drink . . .” “My cup” is the one that every follower of Jesus Christ will drink. Because Christ drank “THE CUP” of God’s judgment, we who are His followers will drink Christ’s cup of fellowship and grace and blessing. Let’s see what Scripture says about Christ’s cup, which we will call “My cup.”
Jesus said to them, “My cup you shall drink.” After reading of what “THE CUP” meant to Christ (20:22) and how He incurred tremendous suffering to drink that cup, the reader may conclude that “My cup” has a similar meaning. At first, Jesus’ words may sound like an ominous warning, but they are, in fact, entirely different than that. Instead of an ominous warning, these words are the Savior’s sure promise of unspeakable blessing for every disciple of Jesus Christ. With these words, Jesus gives His promise that everyone who has trusted in Christ is entitled to sit at His heavenly table and to drink eternally of Christ’s cup of communion and joy and peace.
“My (heavenly) cup you shall drink . . .”
There are three aspects to “My cup” that we need to understand.
First, “My cup” is a cup of fellowship with Jesus and with His Body, the church. This fellowship is explicitly celebrated in the Lord’s Supper, where Jesus is spiritually present and the Body of believers is gathered to remember Him and to have fellowship with Him, but this fellowship is also manifested in the many “one another” teachings in the New Testament and in the ongoing expressions of Christian love experienced in the Body of Christ.
In the Last Supper (Mark 14, Matthew 26, Luke 22 and John 14-16), the Lord Himself initiated this time of intimate fellowship between Christ and His disciples. The fellowship is now continued through the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10-11). Because Christ drank THE CUP, His followers have peace with God (Romans 5:1-10; 2 Cor. 5:18-20) and enjoy intimate fellowship with God (1 John 1:3). So the first aspect of Christ’s cup (“My cup”) to recognize is that it is a cup of fellowship.
Second, the disciple of Jesus Christ gets the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. With the blessings of Christ’s cup inevitably come the sharing in Christ’s sufferings. My experience of suffering is limited, but in that suffering I find that I am in closest fellowship with Christ and am most identified with Christ. (Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24; 1 Peter 4:12-14; Gal. 6:14, 17; Acts 5:41; Matthew 5:10-12) Because Christ drank THE CUP of God’s wrath, we can joyously and fearlessly endure suffering for His name’s sake.
The third aspect of “My cup” is to realize that we who belong to Christ will ultimately drink Christ’s cup in heaven with Him for all of eternity. Because Christ drank THE CUP of God’s wrath for us, there is a time coming when all believers of all the ages will be gathered around the table of the King of kings and the Lord of lords to forever drink from His cup of peace and joy and love. Jesus’ words from the Last Supper point forward to that day:
“This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new WITH YOU in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:28-29). Our destiny is to forever drink from His heavenly cup, because Christ drank THE CUP on our behalf.
SDG rmb 2/13/2017