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Q. Where And How Did Jesus Drink “The Cup Of Wrath”?

I’ve read different scholars’ ideas as to where and how Jesus “drank the cup of wrath.” Some say in Gethsemane. Others say He slowly drank the cup of wrath from Gethsemane right up to His last triumphant “It is finished~!” Will you please give me your thoughts on this?


Dear *****,

The “cup” (literally “this cup” in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42) is the cup of God’s wrath upon man’s sin. The cup is used as a symbol of God’s wrath several time in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 25:15-16; Isaiah 51:17, 22; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:28-34; Habakkuk 2:16). It is likewise used as a symbol for enduring God’s wrath in Revelation 14:9-10 and 16:19.

I should add that “the cup” is also used as a symbol for experiencing God’s salvation (Psalm 116:13; and then in the New Testament in reference to the cup as part of the Last Supper and Communion).

Jesus endured the wrath of God (drank the cup of God’s wrath) so that our sins could be forgiven and so that we may drink of the cup of salvation -- symbolized when we take the cup at communion). In Mark 14:39 and also John 18:10 drinking the cup is still viewed as future, and yet Jesus says this after Gethsemane. Further, Jesus says that the cup symbolized the “New Covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20). For me, that settles it. Our Lord drank the cup of God’s wrath when He shed His blood, the blood of the New Covenant, on the cross of Calvary. He dreaded doing so at Gethsemane, but He experienced God’s wrath and separation (Matthew 27:46) on the cross.

There is a sense in which our Lord suffered throughout His earthly life, living in a sinful world, with sinful people (Matthew 17:17; Hebrews 5:7-8), but that is another story.

I would add in conclusion that a study of “the cup” in the entire Bible may enrich our experience when we partake of communion.


Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Christology

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