A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

A Cup Full of Hell?

 
On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, we find Him in tremendous sorrow and greatly troubled about a cup. The thought of having to drink from this particular cup even had Him sweating drops of blood. 1
 
Notice how Matthew records the night and draws much attention to cup:
 
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
 
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matt. 26:38-39,42)
 
Even as Jesus is being arrested, He is still talking about the cup:
 
So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (John 17:11)
 
What was this cup that Jesus was so concerned about? Was it the fear of His imminent arrest, abandonment, beatings, torture, mockery, and execution that was now only hours away? 
 
As horrible as the anguish of crucifixion may have been, it does not appear to be the cup to which Jesus was referring. If it were, this would be contrary to His previous teaching.“
 
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:4-5)
 
Jesus told the disciples not to fear man, so we can safely assume that He did not either. Why? Because, torment and death, as horrific as it may be, is nothing compared to the eternal punishment that sinners face after death from the hand of God. 
 
From the passage, we begin to get a right understanding of Jesus’ anguish. He was fearful, not of mankind, but of the cup of wrath that He was about to receive; a cup of hell. 
 
To understand this analogy even better, it is good to see how the cup was used to describe God’s wrath even in the Old Testament. Take these examples for example:
 
Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering. These two things have happened to you—who will console you? —devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?  (Isaiah 51:17,19)
 
Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.’
So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day…” (Jeremiah 25:15-18)
 
Though Isaiah and Jeremiah speak of the cup of God’s wrath that unrepentant Israel was to drink, it was only a foreshadowing of the supreme cup of wrath that the enemies of God will drink from for all eternity. For this, we look to John’s description of the cup found in the book of Revelation.
 
He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name (Rev. 14:10-11)
 
Just from a few passages we begin to see why Jesus was in agony over drinking from this cup. The cup was full of divine wrath that sinners deserved.
 
But why was Jesus, who had not sinned, going to receive this wrath? 
 
He was drinking from the cup that was poured for you and I. All sin deserves the full wrath of God. All sinners must drink of the cup of God’s wrath, or as we have seen, have Jesus drink of it for them. This is what Jesus does for all who trust in Him for salvation. Jesus saves us from the wrath of God, by becoming the object of God’s wrath in our place. What no human can ever drink of exhaustively, Jesus, while on the cross, drank every last drop of the wrath of God for all believers.  As Paul said, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2
 
As Jesus died on the cross, to fulfill prophecy, and to add one more exclamation point to what He had accomplished, He returns to the drinking analogy. As John records, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’. With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”3 Jesus drank the cup of God’s Wrath for us. The cup is now empty, God’s wrath has been poured out fully. It is finished.
 

Comfort:

 
All people who trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation will never have to drink of the Wrath of God because the cup is empty! Every drop of judgment and wrath was received by Jesus Christ on the cross. We will not face the wrath of God. We will not drink of that cup. We will not experience hell or eternal punishment for our sin, because Jesus Christ drank of God’s wrath in our place
 

Warning:

 
If Jesus is not your Savior, then you will drink and continue to drink from the never-ending cup of God’s wrath for all eternity. Repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation today.
 
~ Trey Talley

Footnotes:

1. Luke 22:44
2. 2 Corinthians 5:21
3. John 19:30